Florida’s secretary of state orders recounts in Senate, gubernatorial races; Trump ‘watching closely’
Florida’s secretary of state announced Saturday that there will be recounts in the Senate and gubernatorial races after the races became tight enough to trigger them — amid controversy over the handling of the counts, with President Trump warning that he will be “watching closely.”
Secretary Ken Detzner issued the order after the unofficial results in both races fell within the margin that by law triggers a recount. The results of the machine recount will be due by 3 p.m. ET on Nov. 15. The votes in the Senate race between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott, and the gubernatorial race between Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis and Democratic mayor of Tallahassee Andrew Gillum, will be recounted. There will also be a recount for the race for agriculture commissioner.
The mandatory recount occurs if the winning candidate’s margin is less than 0.5 percent. If the margin is less than 0.25 percent, the recount must be done by hand.
Both Scott and DeSantis led their races after the midterms on Tuesday, with Gillum conceding to DeSantis. But as the days went on, and more votes were counted, those leads have all but disappeared.
Scott’s lead by Saturday afternoon was reduced to 0.15 percent and DeSantis’ was 0.41 percent.
Trying to STEAL two big elections in Florida! We are watching closely!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018
The shrinking leads quickly led to suspicions from Republicans that foul play was afoot in Democratic strongholds of Broward and Palm Beach counties. Democrats, meanwhile, have accused Republicans of trying to stop all votes from being counted. President Trump on Saturday told reporters that “they are finding votes out of nowhere.”
“What’s going on in Florida is a disgrace,” he said.
He reacted within moments to the announcement of the recounts by accusing Democrats of “trying to steal two big elections in Florida!”
“We are watching closely!” he added.