On Saturday, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner ordered recounts in high-stakes races for not only Florida agriculture commissioner, but also the U.S. Senate and governor.
According to a story from the News Service of Florida, the orders also included recounts in three legislative districts. State law requires “machine” recounts when the margins between candidates are 0.5 percent or less. As local officials continued to count ballots after Tuesday’s election, it became clear that all six of the races would fall under that requirement.
The machine recounts will play out over five days, with county canvassing boards required to report results by 3 p.m. Thursday. At that point, races with margins of .25 percent or less will go to manual, or “hand,” recounts. Counties were required by noon Saturday to report unofficial results to the state.
The race for agriculture commissioner between Democrat Nikki Fried and Republican Matt Caldwell. In the unofficial results, Fried had 4,030,337 votes, or 50.03 percent, while Caldwell had 4,025,011 votes, or 49.97 percent.
In races that go to manual recounts after the Thursday deadline, county canvassing boards will examine the “outstacked” ballots.
The results from the manual recounts must be provided to the state no later than noon on November 18. Then two days later, the state Elections Canvassing Commission will meet in Tallahassee to certify the official election results.