Candidates gain more votes in hand recount for Senate, Ag Comm races

Photo by Leigh Green

Update: It took more than three hours Friday for 12 teams to hand recount votes for the razor-thin races for U.S. Senate and Commissioner of Agriculture, which led to the candidates gaining a few extra votes, according to the Indian River County Supervisor of Elections.

During the recounting for the U.S. Senate race, Republican Governor Rick Scott picked up 14 additional votes, Indian River County Supervisor of Elections Leslie Swan said. Incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson picked up 23 extra votes.

For the Commissioner of Agriculture race, Democrat Nicole Fried gained 12 extra votes, Swan said. Republican Matt Caldwell picked up 16 additional votes.

Officials recounted 775 votes total for the U.S. Senate race and 2,428 votes for the Commissioner of Agriculture race, Swan said.

The process, which lasted from 8:30 a.m. to about noon Friday at the Indian River County Supervisor of Elections Office, went smoothly, Swan said. The office is located at 4375 43rd Avenue.

Each team was made up of one democrat and one republican, with about 20 observers watching them recounting the ballots. The elections office also recounted military ballots that were postmarked on election day, Swan said.

The manual recount results are required to be turned in by noon Sunday to the Florida Department of State.

 

Earlier story

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A statewide hand recount for the close races for U.S. Senate and Commissioner of Agriculture was ordered late Thursday by the secretary of state, a news release shows.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner issued the order shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday. The Indian River County Supervisor of Elections Office will conduct the manual recount – open to the public – at 8:30 a.m. Friday at its office, 4375 43rd Avenue.

“The second set of unofficial returns for the U.S. Senate and Commissioner of Agriculture races has met the statutory threshold to trigger a manual recount,” Sarah Revell, director of communications for the Florida Department of State, said in an email.  “As required under Florida law, a statewide manual recount has been ordered by the Secretary of State.”

Indian River County was among the state’s 67 counties that conducted machine recounts last weekend. Results for those recounts were required to be turned in to the Florida Department of State no later than 3 p.m. Thursday, officials said.

The results for the manual recount are due to the department by noon on November 18. Supervisor of elections’ workers will be hand counting overvotes and undervotes for the races for U.S. Senate and Commissioner of Agriculture.

“A manual recount is ordered by the Secretary of State per (Florida law), which states if the second set of unofficial returns indicates that a candidate for any office was defeated by one-quarter of a percent or less of the votes cast for such office, a manual recount of the overvotes and undervotes cast for such office shall be ordered,” Indian River County Supervisor of Elections Leslie Swan said in a statement.

An overvote is when a voter picked more choices than allowed in the recounted race, Revell said.  An undervote is when a voter did not pick or chose a less than allowable number of choices in the recounted race.

A timeline for reporting and the certification of 2018 general election results can be found on the Florida Department of State website.

Photos by Leigh Green

 

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