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UPDATE: Hand Recount Ordered In Florida’s Bitter Senate Race

Governor Rick Scott and Senator Bill Nelson.

Florida’s bitter Senate race is headed for a hand recount.

The machine recount ended Thursday afternoon.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott leads Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson by some 12,500 votes.

Nelson attorney Marc Elias says attention now is on Broward County, where ballot-counting machines failed to identify Senate votes on some 23,000 ballots.

“That suggests that the machines for one reason or another were unable to accurately read the Senate race compared to other races.”

The race for agriculture commissioner also will undergo a hand recount. But the gubernatorial race appears settled, with Republican Ron DeSantis defeating Democrat Andrew Gillum.

In Volusia County elections workers also were hand-counting ballots in the race for state House representative in District 26.

“This is part of the process,” said Lisa Lewis, the Volusia County supervisor of elections. “When there are tight races like this you have these checks and balances to make sure that every vote is counted that can be counted.”

In Orange County election workers are hand-counting ballots in the races for Senate and agriculture commissioner races. Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles expects them to finish counting over- and under-votes in both races this evening. But he says they’re not done with their final report yet:

“Because we still have the court issue with the cure for mismatched signatures on the vote-by-mail ballots where there’s a 5 o’clock deadline. Also today is the ten-day deadline for the military ballots to be back so we have to canvass those.”

In Osceola County Supervisor of Elections Mary Jane Arrington says she’s not sure when the hand recount in he two races will be finished, but she estimates they’ll be done by Saturday.

“We have about 3,000 for the commissioner of agriculture and about a thousand for the Senate race.”

The next deadline is Sunday, when official results are due from county canvassing boards.

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a regular contributor for NPR, PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and many other top news organizations. Her in-progress book on the Everglades is under contract with Johns ... Read Full Bio »