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Florida Now Recounting Ballots by Hand in Senate Race Dispute, and It May Not Take Long

11-16-2018

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner has ordered the manual recount of ballots in the acrimonious race for the US Senate.

The troubled attempt at a machine recount showed Republican Gov. Rick Scott leading Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson by less than 13,000 votes out of roughly 8 million votes cast statewide.

Detzner's order gives three days to recount thousands of ballots that were rejected by machines because of "overvotes."

In Democrat-heavy Broward County, one reporter on the scene says they've already completed their hand recount, much quicker than expected, and that's bad news for Sen. Nelson.

The recount process has been riddled with obstacles. For instance, South Florida's Palm Beach County, a Democratic stronghold, was unable to meet Thursday's machine recount deadline due to the malfunctioning of outdated equipment.

"We gave a heroic effort and given maybe three or four more hours we might have made the time," Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said, adding that she takes "full responsibility" for the missed deadline.

Meanwhile, Gov. Scott is continuing calls for his rival to concede the race.

"We need to put this election behind us, and it is time for Bill Nelson to respect the will of the voters and graciously bring this process to an end rather than proceed with yet another count of the votes – which will yield the same result, and bring more embarrassment to the state that we both love and have served," he said in a statement.

In the governor's race, Republican Ron DeSantis's lead over Democrat Andrew Gillum is large enough that no hand recount is needed.

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