Andrew Gillum withdraws concession as Florida recount begins

Andrew Gillum withdraws concession as Florida recount begins

Andrew Gillum withdraws concession as Florida recount begins

The race for state agriculture commissioner swung in favor of Democrat Nikki Fried over state Rep. Matt Caldwell, who declared victory on Tuesday.

He also points to 10,000 ballots that he says remain to be counted in Palm Beach County, another Democratic bastion. Scott held a 0.21 percentage lead over Nelson on Thursday afternoon.

A manual recount is triggered when the vote differential falls within 0.25 percent of the total vote.

"At this point I'm not prepared to say Sen". Nelson's lawyer called that race a "jump ball".

The Scott campaign was critical of Nelson for bringing in an outside attorney to push for a recount.

A recount is mandatory if the winning candidate's margin is less than 0.5 percentage points when the first unofficial count is verified Saturday by Florida's secretary of state.

"At the end of the day, when all eligible voters have their votes counted and counted accurately, the fundamental truth that we're going to learn is that more voters voted for Sen. But I can guarantee you this - I'm not going anywhere".

Barry Richard, a Tallahassee-based elections lawyer retained by Gillum's campaign, did not rule out the possibility of the race heading to a manual recount after the machine recount is complete. Gillum, who had conceded Tuesday night before DeSantis' margin narrowed, now says his campaign is preparing for a recount.

"Since that time, more information has come in", he added.

"When the machine recount is finished, if [Gillum] is satisfied that the system has worked properly and there are no uncounted votes ..."

Florida counties have until noon Saturday to submit unofficial election results to the Department of State.

In Riviera Beach, the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board met Friday morning to review "anomalous" ballots not yet counted because of irregularities that prevented a machine-reading.

The Florida Elections Canvassing Commission - comprised of Scott and two Cabinet members - is slated to meet November 20 at 9 a.m.to certify the election results. Among other things, the infamous punch-card ballots are no longer. "All ballots must be counted", League President Patricia Brigham said in a release Thursday. "We are watching closely!"

In addition to the senatorial contest, recounts are expected in the state's agriculture commissioner race and three state legislative races: Senate District 18 in Hillsborough County, in which Democratic challenger Janet Cruz leads incumbent Republican Dana Young; House District 26 in Volusia County, in which Republican Elizabeth Fetterhoff is ahead of incumbent Democrat Patrick Henry; and House District 89 in Palm Beach County, where Republican Mike Caruso held the lead over Democrat Jim Bonfiglio.

"I would expect that we are going to be well under the 0.25 percent needed for a hand recount and I think that's where we are headed", said Marc Elias, a nationally known elections lawyer who has represented a number of high-profile Democrats in successful recount battles. Nelson began Thursday trailing Scott by less than 22,000 votes out of more than 8 million votes cast, a difference of 0.26 percent.

"We're working really hard on the transition", he said. He suggested something was awry because vote-counters were taking longer there than in other jurisdictions, and his thin lead has kept narrowing since election night. The lawyer said Miami-Dade County could face legal action regarding the rejection of minority voters' mail-in ballots, if disparities are identified.

"What has also changed since election night have been the chorus of voices - from the President of the United States, the junior senator of the state of Florida, and the governor of the state of Florida - a chorus calling for the ending of the counting in this process", Gillum said. "It is sad and embarrassing that Bill Nelson would resort to these low tactics after the voters have clearly spoken".

"Don't steal our election!" they shouted in chants alternated with songs including "The Star Spangled Banner" and reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance. "Nelson is going to be determined to be the victor and he's going to return to the United States Senate", Elias insisted during a Thursday morning conference call with reporters.

Scott said "unethical liberals" were trying to steal the election in Democratic strongholds of Broward and Palm Beach counties. "All of the sudden they are finding votes out of nowhere", he said.

Broward County has a troubled election history and its county's election supervisor, Brenda Snipes - an appointee of Republican Gov. Jeb Bush - has been at the center of several controversies. "I still believe we ought to pay teachers what they're worth".

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