Broward and Palm Beach counties are at the center of a brewing Florida recount. Again.

Broward and Palm Beach counties are at the center of a brewing Florida recount. Again.

US mid-terms 2018: Florida senate race recount triggered

Florida Governor and Senate elect Rick Scott, unleashed lawsuits against Broward County and Palm Beach County while accusing Democrats of trying to steal the election.

Both the senate seat Scott thought was his on Tuesday night, and the Governors spot that looked all but won by Republican Ron DeSantis are both now within the margin of error for a recount.   

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Scott believed he won over the Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson, however, during a press conference Thursday night, after his Senate campaign sued Broward County and Palm Beach County elections officials to turn over records regarding how ballots are being counted, Scott said: The people of Florida deserve fairness and transparency, and the supervisors are failing to give it to us.

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The lawsuit was filed about the same time Scott ordered state law enforcement officials to investigate the Broward and Palm Beach voting operation.  

Rubio also cannot explain what the alternative would be to counting the ballots in Broward, if he — in stark contrast to those mischevious Democrats — does want to “make sure every vote is counted.” He is all but saying the election will only be legitimate if the tally is stopped right now and Republicans are declared the winners, no matter how many peoples votes are not counted. Which, incidentally, would be illegal, since state law makes clear that any election where the results are within 0.5 percent must have a recount.

Video: Rick Scott alleges rampant fraud in Florida

A spokesperson for Nelson bristled at Scotts legal maneuvering, telling CNN The goal here is to see that all the votes in Florida are counted and counted accurately. Rick Scotts action appears to be politically motivated and borne out of desperation. 

But Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is outraged that Florida election officials are going to double-check the results and make absolutely certain that the GOP won. As far as hes concerned, the whole thing is a plot by liberal-leaning Broward County election officials to steal the election — and he expounded on why he believes this in a six-part thread on Twitter:

Senator elect Rick Scott sued Broward County and Palm Beach County election officials Thursday night alleging there could be rampant fraud in the counties ballot-counting process

To be clear, Rubio doesnt offer a shred of evidence anything nefarious is going on, other than the fact that Broward County is Democratic, has a lot of uncounted ballots, and the elections supervisor failed to properly preserve ballots in a congressional primary two years ago.

As ballots were still being counted in Palm Beach and Broward counties, the gap closed between Rick Scott and Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson (pictured) 

More drama in Florida: Senate race heads toward a recount as gubernatorial contest tightens

The races between Rick Scott and Sen. Bill Nelson for US Senate and between Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum for governor remain too close to call after Tuesdays election. Under Florida state law, a recount is triggered if the margin of victory is equal or less than 0.5 percent.

#Broward supervisor:- says she doesnt know how many ballots are left to be counted; &- Isnt reporting hourly or regularly,but rather releasing thousands of additional votes,often in the overnight hours,that are chipping away at GOP leads2/6 #Sayfie

Nelsons campaign has already called for a recount; at press time, Scott, the current Republican governor, had a lead of about 0.2 percent — well in the range of a recount.

#Broward election supervisors ongoing violation of #Florida law requiring timely reporting isnt just annoying incompetence. It has opened the door for lawyers to come here & try to steal a seat in the U.S. Senate & Florida Cabinet#Sayfie6/6

At the end of this process Sen. Nelson is going to prevail, Marc Elias, Nelsons campaign lawyer, said Thursday on a press call. I am very measured in how I treat what I say. When I say it is currently a jump ball … I mean that.

Gillum has already conceded to DeSantis; however, as votes continue to be counted, the margin is becoming so small that its bounding toward a recount as well. At any rate, a concession speech isnt legally binding, so if the recount goes Gillums way, he can just take it back.

Both of Floridas closely watched statewide races remain close as final results come in. The Senate race between incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott is too close to call, according to NBC News. Scotts lead of 0.2 percentage point is within the 0.5 percentage point threshold that triggers a mandatory recount in the state.

Video: Possible recount in Floridas Senate race

The stakes for both outcomes are high, given strikingly contrasting visions for the state and the country — and that Republicans have a bare 51-majority in the Senate (one they would expand if Scott wins). Whatever happens in Florida could have huge national consequences.

Video: Florida Senate Race Headed To Recount

Elections in Florida are almost always very close. And this year, even in a midterm cycle, is no different.

Prominent lawyer Marc Elias, who represents Nelsons campaign, said Thursday afternoon that he expected the margin in the race to narrow even more until a recount takes place. If the margin comes within 0.25 percentage point — where it stands currently — it would trigger a manual recount by hand.

While the early results seemed to favor Democrats, Republicans, like in 2016, showed their might throughout the night and have held a very narrow lead since early Wednesday morning. But not all the votes have been counted yet — and some of the most populous counties in Florida dont even know how many more votes there are to count.

Florida, one of the key U.S. swing states, is used to electoral drama. A Florida recount battle that took more than a month of sparring — and a Supreme Court decision — famously decided the 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

Florida governor claims election fraud

Thats a good sign for Nelson and Gillum, who have seen their vote totals grow as more votes come in from the southeastern parts of the state.

Scott has already declared victory in this years Senate race. As the contest tightened on Thursday, widely followed forecaster Nate Silvers FiveThirtyEight moved its rating on the Florida contest from “likely” Republican to “lean” Republican.

In Broward County, the second-most-populous county in southeastern Florida that covers part of the Miami metropolitan area, Nelson currently has won 69 percent of the votes and Gillum has won 68 percent; there are still early and absentee ballots and Election Day votes to be counted. The same goes for Palm Beach County, where Gillum and Nelson are the big favorites.

Democrats are prepared for the long haul here — even Gillum, who gave a teary concession speech on Tuesday night.

His claim to have won the election was backed by President Trump who tweeted: “Law enforcement is looking into another big corruption scandal having to do with electoral fraud in Broward and Palm Beach.

We are committed to ensuring every single vote in Florida is counted, his campaign has since said.

Mr Scott’s team released a statement yesterday saying: “It is sad and embarrassing that Bill Nelson would resort to these low tactics after the voters have clearly spoken.

Meanwhile, DeSantis, who claimed victory in the governors race, is already acting like the presumptive nominee, appointing a transition team.

Mr Scott’s rival, sitting Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, responded: “Rick Scott’s action appears to be politically motivated and borne out of desperation.”

Plainly, a recount means that every vote cast will be retabulated. In Florida, if the margin of victory is 0.5 percent or less, a machine recount is ordered. If that margin is 0.25 percent or less, the state will trigger a manual recount, where the over votes and under votes are counted by hand.

Election officials in Broward County, the second largest county in Florida, are refusing to confirm how many votes were cast or how many they have less to count.

This matters, particularly in the Senate race. For example, in Broward County, of the 695,799 people who turned in ballots, only 665,688 voted in the Senate race, according to the current count — less than almost every other statewide race on the ballot. Broward County is a Democratic stronghold in Florida.

He is specifically taking action against Supervisor Brenda Snipes over Broward County’s failure to complete its count of midterms votes.

Why there have been so many under votes in Broward County remains a mystery. Some have said its because of how the ballot is formatted, putting the Senate race on the bottom of the page under a long block of voting instructions. But Nelsons lawyer thinks its a machine error that would be rectified with a hand recount.

A recount also means that provisional and overseas absentee ballots — all of which are typically counted after Election Day — are counted, a process that can at times take more than a week.

However, as much as the population of Florida was divided in half on election day, they were united on one issue: the right of former felons to vote, or Amendment Four. On the ballot along with different candidates were certain issues, among them amendment four. The amendment will give voting rights back to more than a million people in the state but has two notable exceptions: those who have committed murder or a felony sex offence will not get the right to vote. As Van Jones of CNN put it, rather biblically, “both parties have values that are offended when theres no redemption.”

There are always mail-in ballots and provisional ballots that arent counted — due to a lack of ID or matching address — that can be counted if they are rechecked. Typically, voters are notified of errors and have to sign an affidavit curing the mistakes before Election Day. But there are always ballots turned in on Election Day that cant be re-checked, and people that cast provisional ballots.

Nelson to pursue recount as Senate race remains too close to call | TheHill

According to Daniel Smith, a political scientist with the University of Florida and an election watcher, of the mail ballots returned on Election Day, more than 13,000 had issues.

My database yesterday revealed that of the 126k VBMs returned on Election Day (in FL, VBMs (except overseas) must be received by SOEs by 7pm on Election Day), over 13.4k had problems.

Voters have until 5 pm Eastern time Thursday to make sure their vote counted, or cure their votes of any errors, and county supervisors must submit the results from provisional ballots by Saturday.

In a recount, the latter deadline could change. For now, campaigns are in a mad dash to contact voters and verify their ballots. This is a struggle — in past elections, fewer than half of cast provisional ballots actually get counted. But based on where provisional ballots have been cast so far, it looks like if they are counted, theyd overwhelmingly go toward Democrats. Overseas and military ballots still havent fully come in for this election, and those typically strengthen Republicans leads.

For most election watchers, the idea of a Florida recount gives Democrats flashbacks to the 2000 presidential election, when George W. Bush beat Democrat Al Gore by 537 votes in Florida after a partial recount that was ultimately halted by the Supreme Court. One report after the race found that if the entire state had had a thorough recount under certain rules, Gore likely would have won.

That was a highly unique case. That said, its also unusual for a recount to change the final results of an election.

As FiveThirtyEight reported in 2016, between 2000 and 2015, there have been 27 recounts in statewide general elections, only three of which actually changed the final result:

The razor thin races to watch in Florida and Georgia

Al Frankens win in Minnesotas 2008 U.S. Senate race, Thomas M. Salmons win in Vermonts 2006 auditor election and Christine Gregoires win in Washingtons 2004 gubernatorial race.

But that doesnt mean these races in Florida arent close enough to become part of that statistic. Based on the numbers so far, there are a couple of reasons Democrats have hope in Florida: 1) Not all the votes have been counted — and those that remain to be counted are in Democratic strongholds; 2) the margins are so small that provisional ballots could have an impact here, and they often go toward Democrats.

Its worth noting that in 2016, Elias, currently Nelsons elections lawyer, was general counsel on Hillary Clintons campaign, when he said that Clintons chance of winning through recounts was next to none.

Florida braces for recounts in governor, Senate races

The number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closest of these states — Michigan — well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount, he said then.

On Thursday, Elias had a very different tone; he told reporters he was confident Nelson would win.

RICK SCOTT BROWARD COUNTY LAWSUIT: Senate Bill Nelson | WFTV

In this Storystream Florida Senate race: Rick Scott vs. Bill Nelson Why Democrats think they can still win Florida Sen. Bill Nelson will ask for a recount in Florida race against Rick Scott View all 6 stories Next Up In Politics & Policy Democrat Kyrsten Sinema pulls ahead in Arizona Senate race A major climate change lawsuit is on hold. Again. Trump is about to sign an asylum ban Christine Blasey Ford has a security detail because she still receives threats Marsha Blackburn is an NRA favorite. Her comments on a mass shooting show why. Tlaib and Omar are the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Theyre also so much more. Most Read White House press secretary uses fake Infowars video to justify banning CNN reporter Scenes from a dystopia. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema pulls ahead in Arizona Senate race The state still has hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots to count. Lindsey Graham said thered be holy hell to pay if Trump fired Sessions. But that was then. Graham used to defend Sessions. Now hes defending the president. The Senate is a huge problem for Democrats And its not going to get better soon. Marsha Blackburn is an NRA favorite. Her comments on a mass shooting show why. The NRA spent $1.25 million to get her elected. vox-mark Vox Sentences The news, but shorter, delivered straight to your inbox.

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