Thursday , January 28 2021

After almost 2 weeks and 2 recounts, the Florida Senate race ends: NPR



Volunteer observers watch Friday as election workers at the tables examine ballots during a recount of votes in Palm Beach County for the US Senate race.

Michele Eve Sandberg / AFP / Getty Images


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Michele Eve Sandberg / AFP / Getty Images

Volunteer observers watch Friday as election workers at the tables examine ballots during a recount of votes in Palm Beach County for the US Senate race.

Michele Eve Sandberg / AFP / Getty Images

Updated at 2:19 pm ET

After two reports, a deluge of lawsuits and charged political rhetoric, the 12-day Florida election marathon is finally coming to an end.

According to the official results of the Florida Election Division, current Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, leads Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in the disputed Senate race. Scott's leadership declined slightly to about 10,000 votes. Nelson scheduled a news conference on Sunday afternoon, in which he was expected to discuss his political future.

Scott announced that Nelson had called him to grant.

"I just spoke to Senator Bill Nelson, who kindly granted it, and thanked him for his years of public service," Scott said in a statement.

Official results were due to Secretary of State Ken Detzner's office in Florida's 67 counties at noon on Sunday. About an hour before that deadline, Broward County, which has been one of two counties at the epicenter of the state's recount drama, has announced that it has completed its recount and presented the results.

Because the margin between Nelson and Scott was less than a quarter of a percentage point after the first recount, state law dictated a manual counting of ballot boxes where a machine could not make a clear reading, either because the run was left blank or because were other markings that made the vote unclear.

The results delivered by county election officials on Sunday will reflect these recounted totals, as well as ballots received from military and foreign voters. As long as foreign ballots are posted before November 6, they will be counted if they are received by county officials by Friday.

A federal judge denied several suits filed by Nelson in an effort to reduce the deficit. They included a request to count national ballot papers that were received after election day and a request to overturn a state law requiring voters to use the same method of marking for different races on their ballots.

Scott's campaign has called Nelson daily to admit. In a show of confidence, Scott participated in an orientation in Washington last week for incoming senators.

In a statement released on Sunday, Scott's campaign said Nelson has a choice: "Be remembered as the statesman who kindly granted after 42 years of public service … or be remembered as the loser who refused to face people whom he served. "

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum admitted on Saturday night, after completing his own recount, will not close the gap enough with his opponent, Republican Ron DeSantis.

In his grant on Saturday, Gillum referred to the tangle of election administration issues discovered during those periods, 18 years after the state was subjected to a rigorous review of the 2000 presidential election.

"We will do everything we can to ensure that in the coming weeks and months, we will do what we can to perfect our electoral system," Gillum said. "We need to update the Florida election system and bring it to the 21st century."

Correspondent National Political of the NPR Don Gonyea contributed with reporting.


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