Margin tightens in Florida Senate race, recount still looming attorney says


Results of the US Senate race between Sen. Bill Nelson (D) and Gov. Rick Scott (R) could go unknown for another 10 days if it heads to a recount. 

Scott address his narrowing margin of victory from the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee Thursday night.

“We’ve all seen the incompetence and irregularities in vote tabulations in Broward and Palm Beach for years, but here we go again. I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election from the great people of Florida.” 

Scott filed a lawsuit against the Broward and Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections offices as his margin victory over Nelson narrows.

The lawsuit accuses the offices of failure to meet the 7:30 p.m. election night deadline of reporting early votes and vote-by-mail totals.

Nelson’s campaign team said Thursday that the margin of votes continues to shrink and the team believes they’ll reach the threshold required for a recount. 

“A significant number of ballots have not yet been counted and, because of the size of Florida, we believe the results of the election are unknown and require a recount,” said Marc Elias, an election law attorney representing Nelson’s campaign.

Elias said the unofficial margin dropped to roughly 26,000 votes Wednesday night and that as of Thursday morning, Nelson trails Scott by roughly 22,000. 

Votes are still being counted in Broward County, according to Elias. 

He said thousands of ballots in Palm Beach County will be reviewed due to marking issues on ballots making it difficult for machines to accurately make a reading. 

Elias said he isn’t sure if Nelson will be in a lead before the possible recount but believes that Nelson will end up winning. 

Gov. Scott has already claimed victory and his campaign pushed back Wednesday. 

“This race is over. It’s a sad way for Bill Nelson to end his career. He is desperately trying to hold on to something that no longer exists,” said Chris Hartline, spokesman for Scott for Florida.

Saturday is the expected start date of either a machine or hand recount, Elias said. 

A machine recount would be completed by Nov. 15 if needed, according to Elias.

He said a hand recount would be conducted if the margin shrinks within a certain percentage and it would wrap up by Nov. 18.  

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