Hillsborough resubmits initial election results, machine recount comes up 800 votes short


Voters cast their ballots at the Miami-Dade County Palm Springs North Fire Station, during the Florida primary election, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Five days of machine recounting in Hillsborough County did not lead to any new results.

The county came up with around 800 votes short of its first unofficial results submitted Saturday.

Elections supervisor Craig Latimore said the county canvassing board decided to resubmit its initial results.

“I was very disappointed this happened,” said Latimore.

“Obviously, as the Supervisor of Elections I feel it’s my job to make sure we’re doing this, but out of an abundance of caution and in transparency too, I couldn’t go forward with 800 less [sic] votes. That’s inappropriate that we do that to the candidates.”

Latimore said a power outage on machines caused the loss of results from an unknown number of ballots Wednesday, but he was uncertain whether that is what caused the vote differential.

“I can’t answer that fully,” said Latimore.

“We didn’t have a chance to investigate and analyze to figure out what was going on. But I know it was 800 and some votes. The canvassing board was clear–that is unacceptable. We’re not gonna move that forward with that as our second unofficials. The beauty of that though is the statute speaks to that. It allows for a remedy in that situation, it goes back to the first unofficials.”

Latimore is referring to Florida Statute 102.141 (7) (c) which says in part:

If the canvassing board is unable to complete the recount prescribed in this subsection by the deadline, the second set of unofficial returns submitted by the canvassing board shall be identical to the initial unofficial returns and the submission shall also include a detailed explanation of why it was unable to timely complete the recount.

Latimore said the recount resulted in “like 1/100 of 1 percent difference” from the initial results. 

He also told 8 On Your Side that Rick Scott’s lawsuit alleging a lack of access to the ballot counting area to both see and hear what was going on could lead to changes in the county’s office setup.

“We’re gonna look at that for sure,” said Latimore.

“We’re gonna see if we can come up with some other solutions. I don’t know the full impact of that right now but we’re gonna look at that.”

Watch WFLA News Channel 8’s local weekly political show with host Evan Donovan. Politics On Your Side airs every Sunday morning at 9:30 right before Meet the Press.

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