Miami-Dade County wrapped up its hand recount earlier today, just over 12 hours after it started. The numbers from the manual recount in Florida’s largest county and Democratic stronghold weren’t very promising for Sen. Bill Nelson. The Tampa Bay Times reports Nelson managed to only pick up 181 votes from the more than 10,000 ballots that initially rejected by voting machines.
The problem for Nelson is he needs more than 12,000 votes if he is to overtake Gov. Rick Scott and retain the job he’s held for the past 18 years. Given the numbers out of Miami-Dade, Nelson faces a nearly impossible task to overtake Scott’s lead.
The 10,000 ballots that were reviewed by Miami-Dade’s three-person canvassing board yielded 348 new votes for Nelson and 167 for Scott. Local election supervisor Christina White announced the results by early Friday afternoon.
The recount in Broward County, which is considered a key part of Nelson’s recount strategy, took hours to complete. Results from the review of more than 30,000 ballots in question were not immediately released. But the short time it took local elections officials to sort through the ballots would seem to suggest there weren’t a lot of extra votes for Nelson.
There are about 93,000 such ballots, statewide to examine, according to the Associated Press
On Thursday, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner ordered hand recounts in the races for U.S. Senate and state agriculture commissioner after machine recounts showed vote margins in both contests were less than 0.25 percent, triggering an automatic manual recount as required by law..
Nelson’s path to overtaking Scott in the vote count was already narrow. Now, with the recounts in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, along with court rulings, that path has likely grown more narrow and steeper.
In the Senate contest, the machine recount showed Scott leading Democrat Nelson by 12,603 votes, a margin of 0.15 percentage points.
Local election officials have three days to complete the hand recounts. Detzner has set a deadline to submit the results for noon on Sunday.
The state is scheduled to certify the election results Tuesday at 9 a.m.