After weeks of lawsuits, claims of voter suppression and accusations by candidates on both sides, three Florida statewide recounts have come to an end.
The winners? The same as the day after the General Election.
Florida’s hotly contested race for governor was decided Saturday night, when Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis. A machine recount gave DeSantis the victory by 33,683 votes, a difference of 0.41 percent – not enough to trigger a manual recount.
But the U.S. Senate and agriculture commissioner races headed to hand recounts on Nov. 14.
The contested Senate race between Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson and Republican Rick Scott ended Sunday when the final hand recount tally narrowed Scott’s margin of victory to 0.12 percentage points, or about 10,000 votes, out of more than 8.19 million votes cast.
Rick Scott will now join fellow Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio in Washington.
“Well, things turned out a little differently than we had hoped,” Nelson tweeted just minutes after Sunday’s noon manual recount deadline. “But I by no means feel defeated. That’s because I’ve had the privilege of serving the people of Florida for most of my life. It’s been a rewarding journey and a very humbling experience.”
In the agriculture commissioner race, Democrat Nikki Fried’s former 5,037-vote lead over Republican Matt Caldwell grew to 6,753 votes after the manual recount, or 0.08 percentage points.
There are a couple important things to remember about recounts.
All ballots are recounted during machine recounts, but for hand recounts, only overvotes (where machines read more than one option) and undervotes (where machines record no vote for a particular race) are reviewed.
In Osceola County, 116,088 votes were cast, and machine recounted. There were 42 undervotes and 742 overvotes in the U.S. Senate election, along with nine undervotes and 2,931 overvotes in the Agriculture Commission election.
Once the results of the election are certified Tuesday, Nelson will have a 10-day window to file a challenge.
Gillum, meanwhile, released a video Saturday congratulating DeSantis on his win, signaling that he has no plans to fight.
Certification of the official election results was scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday.