The state of Florida, and therefore the nation, is forced to wait for the verdict of three statewide races thanks to the negligence of Palm Beach and Broward County election officials Susan Bucher and Brenda Snipes. Each county submitted their unofficial election results on Saturday after days of confusion, misplaced ballots, and questionable counting methods but the statewide process will continue due to the close margin of error in Florida's Governor, Senate, and Florida Agriculture Commissioner races.
Now, Florida's Secretary of State has officially ordered a statewide recount.
BREAKING: Florida secretary of state orders recounts in U.S. Senate, governor races.— The Associated Press (@AP) November 10, 2018
ABC News Local 10 explains why these races will now go to a recount:
Florida law requires a machine recount when the leading candidate’s margin is 0.5 percentage points or less, and a hand recount if it’s 0.25 or less.
- As of noon Saturday, Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis had a slight lead against his Democratic rival, Andrew Gillum by 33,684 votes, a margin of .41 percentage points.
- In the Senate race, Republican Gov. Rick Scott was ahead of Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson by 12,562 votes, a margin of .15 percentage points.
- In the race for Florida Agriculture Commissioner, Democrat Nikki Fried was leading Republican rival Matt Caldwell by 5,326 votes, a margin of 0.06 percentage points.
As Matt has reported, both Broward County and Palm Beach County have been plagued by incompetence, peculiarities, and even misplaced provisional ballots which could have a major impact on all three races. Snipes, a long time election official with a poor track record of doing her job, has abdicated any responsibility for failing to properly count her county's votes. Bucher has characterized accusations of mismanagement and voter fraud as questionably racist.
In what many believe is not a coincidental occurrence, the ballots that have been turned in after election day are seemingly shifting the races towards Democratic candidates. Both DeSantis and Scott have pledged to fight in courts any apparent fraud as votes are counted.