Like in 2000, Florida orders votes recount
Florida on Saturday said it will hold machine re-count of votes in its neck-and-neck races for the Senate and governor of the state, with results due by 3 p.m. on Thursday. Secretary of State of Florida, Ken Detzner, announced this in Florida as update on the election.
It was a throwback to the year 2000 vote recount during the weeks after the presidential election between Republican George Bush and Democrat Al Gore. The recount was settled in favour of Bush by a margin of 537 votes whereupon he became President of the United States.
The two contests, along with those for governor in Georgia and for Senate seat in Arizona, are the most high-profile races still undecided after Tuesday’s congressional elections.
In Florida’s election for the Senate, Republican Governor, Rick Scott, had seen his lead narrow over incumbent Democratic Senator, Bill Nelson, to about 12,500 votes or 0.15 per cent, by Saturday afternoon.
Nelson said his campaign would continue taking action to ensure that every vote was counted without interference or efforts to undermine the democratic process.
“We believe when every legal ballot is counted we’ll win this election,” Nelson said in a statement.
Scott urged every sheriff in the state to watch for any violations during the re-count process as outlined in Florida law, and take appropriate actions.
“We will not let unethical liberals steal this election,” Scott wrote on Twitter.
In the gubernatorial contest, unofficial results showed Republican Ron DeSantis’ lead over Democrat Andrew Gillum had slimmed to about 33,700 votes or 0.41 per cent.
Accusations of fraud and lawsuits have emerged over the Florida contests in recent days, conjuring memories of the state’s 2000 presidential vote re-count.
In that election, the winner of the White House hung in the balance for weeks before the Supreme Court stopped the counting and Republican George W. Bush triumphed over Democrat Al Gore.
President Donald Trump has accused Democratic election officials in Florida’s Broward and Palm Beach Counties of corruption, without providing any evidence.
“Trying to steal two big elections in Florida, we are watching closely,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday during a visit to France.
Scott has filed lawsuits against Democratic election supervisors in the two counties, accusing them of violating election law and demanding access to their vote tallies.
Nelson also filed a motion in federal court asking that provisional and absentee ballots should not be rejected because election officials deem that the signatures do not match voters’ signatures on file.
The re-counts and possible legal challenges mean it could be weeks until a winner is determined in either race.
In Tuesday’s elections, Democrats won a majority in the House of Representatives after eight years in the minority, while Republicans expanded their two-seat advantage in the Senate. (Reuters/NAN)