UPDATE: We’re heading to a hand recount. And yes, Rick Scott will probably win that too (via AP):
Unofficial Florida election results show that the governor’s race seems to be settled after a machine recount but the U.S. Senate race is likely headed to a hand recount.
Republican Ron DeSantis is virtually assured of winning the nationally watched governor’s race over Democrat Andrew Gillum. Florida finished a machine recount Thursday that showed Gillum without enough votes to force a manual recount.
Unofficial results posted on a state website show the margin between U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott is still thin enough to trigger a second review. State law requires a hand recount of races with margins of 0.25 percentage points or less.
The machine recounts are finished in Florida. DeSantis leads Gillum by 33,683. Scott leads Nelson by 12,603. The latter race now goes to a manual recount, with associated lawfare.— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) November 15, 2018
Bottom line: Ron DeSantis is the next governor of Florida. That is not going to change. Rick Scott is almost certainly going to prevail, too, absent a legal bombshell or the discovery of some catastrophic error.— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) November 15, 2018
This race is over. Even while Broward and Palm Beach Counties continue with their mandatory recount, incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is still trailing Republican Gov. Rick Scott by 12,000 votes. Barring a miracle, or massive voter fraud, there’s no way he’s going to win. Even CNN admits this:
Democrats hope a manual recount will overturn the results of Florida's Senate election and pave the wave for Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson to keep his Senate seat.
Appearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer projected confidence about Nelson's chances.
"Bill Nelson is -- is strong as could be," Schumer said. "He believes, I believe, he's won a majority of the votes, and as long as they're counted, he will continue being senator from Florida."
History says this is very unlikely and Republican Gov. Rick Scott will maintain his lead over Nelson. Indeed, there doesn't seem to be a precedent for the type of change Nelson needs to overtake Scott.
Scott holds a little more than a 12,000 vote lead over Nelson. That amounts to an advantage of about 0.15 percentage points, which is well within the 0.25 point margin needed for a manual recount required by Florida law. This margin may seem small, but for recount purposes, it is actually quite large.
In terms of pure votes, it doesn't look any better for Nelson. The average recount from 2000 to 2015 shifted the result by 282 votes. You don't need to be a math wizard to know that 282 is considerably less than 12,000. The maximum change in the margin in any recount from 2000 to 2015 was 1,247 votes. That is far less than the change in the margin Nelson needs to overtake Scott.
The post closes with saying that the next senator from the Sunshine State is going to be a Republican.
Florida’s elections were once again marred by ballot-counting operations that were shoddy, to say the least. No, not shoddy; they were actually in violation of state law. Brenda Snipes and Susan Bucher, the elections supervisors for Broward and Palm Beach respectively, weren’t giving updates on outstanding ballot tallies, as required by law—and their practices were found to violate public records laws by a judge. They were order to comply with all records requests last week, which they decided to ignore. This action was brought on by a lawsuit filed by Scott, who rightfully was curious about the lack of transparency with the ballot-counting process; he had already declared victory over Nelson as well.
CNN’s John King: No chance for Democrats to win, they are now hoping courts “bend the letter of the law” pic.twitter.com/f6GukLocVV— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) November 15, 2018
With over two-thirds of the machine recount completed, our margin of victory has grown. It’s time for @SenBillNelson to end this recount.— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) November 15, 2018
It’s not unwarranted. These counties are the problem children in state elections. In past elections, Snipes illegally destroyed congressional ballots in 2016 during the Democratic primary in Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s race, she forgot to put amendments on the ballot, and her office posted elections results before the polls have closed. In 2018, the incompetence continues, while in Palm Beach, Scott’s campaign alleges that their representatives were barred from supervising the replacement ballot process, as required by law. Election officials can fill out a replacement ballot if machines can't read one. In essence, these officials are creating a new ballots, hence the need for witnesses. It’s a situation that’s ripe for fraud. Not saying that’s what happened, but the fact that Scott campaign officials were allegedly barred is fishy. Yet, it appears this race is about to be called soon. 3 P.M. today is the deadline for the recount to be completed. adsdafsdf
13/ @FLGovScott lawsuit against Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher - supported by a verified complaint (i.e., sworn under penalty of perjury) - provides evidence of far more serious wrongdoing. https://t.co/JTfRAdZlOj— michaelmorley11 (@michaelmorley11) November 9, 2018
14/ State law provides that, if a paper ballot is physically damaged in a way that prevents it from being read by an automated tabulation machine, election officials may make a replacement ballot to be run through the machine instead.— michaelmorley11 (@michaelmorley11) November 9, 2018
15/ That is an *extremely serious power.* To prevent people from being disenfranchised (potentially due to ballot handling beyond their control), state law lets election officials create replacement ballots to be automatically tabulated instead of the original vote.— michaelmorley11 (@michaelmorley11) November 9, 2018
16/ In other words, election officials, quite literally, create new ballots to be counted. Obviously, the law requires them to fill out the replacement ballots the same way, for the same candidates, as the original damaged ballots they're replacing.— michaelmorley11 (@michaelmorley11) November 9, 2018
17/ The process creates a real, immediate opportunity for fraud that could change an election's results.If a damaged ballot were cast for @FLGovScott, for example, a hyper-partisan or corrupt official could be tempted to fill out a replacement ballot for Sen Nelson, or vice versa— michaelmorley11 (@michaelmorley11) November 9, 2018
18/ State law *recognizes* that the literal creation of new ballots to be counted is one of the most sensitive and vulnerable steps in the process. That's why it requires the creation of replacement ballots must occur "in the presence of witnesses." Fla. Stat. 101.5614(4)(a)— michaelmorley11 (@michaelmorley11) November 9, 2018
19/ @FlGovScott lawsuit provides sworn evidence that the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections prohibited his campaign's reps from monitoring the creation of replacement ballots. Election officials are filling out new ballots, but the candidate's reps apparently couldn't see— michaelmorley11 (@michaelmorley11) November 9, 2018
20/ Secrecy and apparent violations of state law are inexcusable when millions of people's fundamental right to vote at stake. The entire process must be completely transparent. /END— michaelmorley11 (@michaelmorley11) November 9, 2018