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Senate, Agriculture races tighten; Governor contest nears recount trigger

The gap between Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Bill Nelson dropped down to 21,899 votes as more ballots from left-leaning Broward County finally went through election office scanners.

Meanwhile, Republican Matt Caldwell’s lead over Democrat Nikki Fried dwindled to 4,109 votes in the Florida Agriculture Commissioner race.

The developments in Broward continue as Democrats mount an increasingly aggressive posture and look toward a statewide recount.

Nelson attorney Marc Elias on Wednesday made clear the campaign saw the recount as a path “to win.” He will hold a conference call with reporters later today on the matter.

Fried for her part continues to issue fundraising calls regarding the recount.

“We are going to ensure that every vote is counted,” Freid tweeted last night. “In a race this close, everyones’ voices must be heard so the will of the people is upheld.”

Just to add to the intrigue, the Florida gubernatorial election, which Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis, now sits on the verge of an automatic recount as well. DeSantis’ margin of victory there slipped to 42,948.

Florida law requires a recount for elections with a margin of victory under 0.5 percent of the vote.

In the Agriculture Commissioners race, Caldwell’s margin of victory now sits at 0.06 percent.

In the Senate contest, Scott’s margin fell to 0.26 percent.

In the Governor election, DeSantis’ lead has dropped to 0.52 percent.

If the gap between totals after a machine recount falls with 0.25 percent of the vote, then a manual recount will be required by law.

But the shifts thus far all remain part of the first tabulation of votes.

Even two days after the election, Broward and Palm Beach counties, both counties carried by Democrats in the statewide races, have yet to report a complete count of vote-by-mail ballots to the Division of Elections.

In Broward’s case, the county has not yet completed its count of early voting ballots.

Additionally, most counties have yet to review and tabulate all provisional ballots cast in the election, and there’s also a 10-day window on overseas vote-by-mail ballots to come into elections offices.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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