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Orange County machine recount finished with no discernible changes

The Orange County vote canvassing board has completed its machine recounts of the 2018 election with very little change in the final tabulations of contested races.

Orange is the first of Florida’s seven big, urban counties — which include Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Duval — to report the machine-recount numbers. It’s among these counties that Democrats hope to make gains in the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial elections and solidify the lead in the Florida Agricultural Commissioner contest.

Orange County’s recounts showed no discernible difference in any of those races’ counts.

In the end, 478,999 votes were recounted in Orange County, according to the report posted by the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office Thursday morning and on its way to Tallahassee. That’s actually down slightly from the total of 479,122 total reported last week to the Florida Division of Elections, for the pre-recount total.

The results show the striking Democratic lean for Orange County, where the Democrats won by more than 110,000 votes in all three contested statewide races, through the machine recount.

In Orange County, Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson topped Republican Gov. Rick Scott in the U.S. Senate election, 293,828 votes to 180,628. The percentage difference remained unchanged from last week’s count: 61.76 percent for Nelson, 37.97 percent for Scott.

Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum topped Republican nominee Ron DeSantis in the gubernatorial election, 296,063 to 174,148, via Orange County voters. The percentage difference remained unchanged: 62.22 percent for Gillum, 36.60 for DeSantis.

Democratic nominee Nikki Friedman topped Republican state Rep. Matt Caldwell in the Florida Agriculture Commissioner election, 288,545 Orange County votes to 174,591 for Caldwell. The percentage difference remained unchanged: 62.30 percent for Friedman, 37.70 for Caldwell.

Andrew Gillum

National strategy? Andrew Gillum bypasses Florida press, gives Rolling Stone exclusive

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum awaits the results of the machine recount in the race for Florida Governor against Republican Ron DeSantis.

In what seems to be a strategic move, the Democrat bypassed in-state media in his first interview since rescinding his concession of the race.

Gillum preferred instead to give quotes to Rolling Stone (the kind of move someone might make who is eyeing national viability in 2020).

The big takeaway is close to the lede: Gillum saying “I’m not leaving the field.”

The full quote: “If I’m unsuccessful in this race — after a legitimate vote has been taken and after a legitimate count has been completed, and if I’m not the victor here — what I have said, certainly in this moment that we now find ourselves, is that I’m not leaving the field.”

What does that mean?

“I think my mission and my work becomes a lot more clear, first and foremost around the work that has to be done to ensure our democracy. And that means counting every vote. Every legal vote that is cast being counted. I don’t know what form that takes, really. I haven’t been able to think long enough and hard enough about that,” Gillum said.

“But I do know that I don’t want to see anybody legitimately have the excuse that they are not voting because their votes don’t count. That can’t happen. Whether I’m the one impacted by that vote or not. That can’t be the legacy of this election. I’m not gonna let that be the legacy of this election,” Gillum added.

Try as interviewer Jamil Smith might, he was unable to get a definitive statement on what’s next.

“I have not considered another office. I certainly haven’t considered what it means to run in two years,” Gillum said as the interview wrapped. “I don’t want to be that person who’s looking squarely at the shortcomings in the process right where I sit and then choose to walk away and do nothing. You know what? I’m not him.”

“And so, if there’s a place for me to help figure that out, I’m probably going to sink my teeth into that part of fixing this thing, so that this isn’t the scenario for the next candidate and the next voter and the next organizer and the next volunteer who poured everything they had into something, only to have somebody interpret that because the signature ain’t right, that their vote is not counted,” Gillum added.

Gillum also framed his rescinded concession in the light of massive midterm turnout and Republicans using his speech, given before the 11 p.m. news on Election Night, as a reason to move forward from the election.

“After understanding all of that, there was no way, in spite of how badly we wanted all of this to be resolved, that I could rest knowing that there were people out there who were not clear that their votes had been counted yet,” Gillum related.

“There was no way that we could signal to those folks who voted,” Gillum added, “those folks who worked for this thing, that I was ready to be done with it and allow Republicans to get away with saying, “Oh, well, get him conceded and therefore we shouldn’t count any more votes’.”

“I mean, that became the rhetoric — from the president. He quoted me conceding as justification as to why we ought to shut down the count. When that became clear to me, there was no way I could allow my actions to be a cover for people to be robbed of their opportunity to be counted,” Gillum added.

Gillum also addressed the mechanics of the concession, one seemingly unprompted by DeSantis.

“I told him it appears that he may be the winner in this race. He responded to me and said that if that’s the case and I’m thinking about running for anything, please don’t choose to run against him again [laughs]. And we exchanged a laugh. And that was kind of it. I mean, it almost blurs in my mind because it feels like so long ago,” Gillum said.

[Cynics might point out, perhaps, other occasions when detail blurred in Gillum’s mind, particularly those regarding Hamilton tickets and related matters].

The interview raises questions, eludes others.

Nevertheless, what is clear: Win or lose the recount, Gillum knows he has to protect his brand. And that brand may find him on a national stage sooner than later.

How the Collective PAC almost brought it home for Andrew Gillum

During the sleepy, largely oppo-free Democratic primary campaign for Governor, one of the rare moments of interest was when a previously-unknown group made moves to take the frontrunner down.

The Collective PAC, dedicated to putting African-Americans into office, spent $2 million backing Andrew Gillum during the campaign.

Of that sum, $1.75 million went to ads chipping away at Gwen Graham, who lost the primary to Gillum by 3 percent, with African-American and urban area turnout driving the surprise win.

The group dealt with the usual, including attacks on it as a dark money group without accountability. And their candidate, as of now, awaits the results of a recount.

On Wednesday, we talked to Collective PAC founder Quentin James, who noted issues of “concern” with the recount, including “mail-in ballots held up in the processing center where some of the pipe bombs were being sent through.”

Beyond those ballots, James notes a concomitant concern about rejected vote-by-mail ballots in general, saying that “over 130,000” have been rejected for logistical factors, including signature match and time issues.

But James stopped short of saying that he wouldn’t accept the results of the election if Republican Ron DeSantis prevails, as long as “every legally cast ballot is counted,” including provisional, military, and vote by mail.

“Hopefully all of these will be sorted out in the next 24 hours,” James said, adding that it may be a “few more weeks” before all is clear.

“Depending on results,” James said, the Collective PAC “may end up playing in this process.”

That would be a substantial investment, should it come to pass.

With the spread between the candidates at 0.41 percent pending the results of the automatic recount, there is a reasonable chance that Gillum may not get the benefit of the manual recount, triggered by a 0.25 percent margin.

We wondered if, in light of Gillum underperforming most polls of the general election, the Collective PAC should have invested more heavily in the race against DeSantis than it did against Graham.

“Our helpfulness was much more needed in the primary,” James related, as outside groups bolstered Gillum, and the “party coalesced” around him.

While the group did give six figures during the general and texted every registered black voter, “resource allocation” among the 50 candidates the group supported led the PAC to “spread the love.”

With Republicans looking to have prevailed, albeit by narrow margins, we had to ask if the Democratic Party could have done more for the candidate.

“I don’t think Democrats are at fault,” James related. “Andrew Gillum got more votes than any other Democrat in statewide history … Presidential-level support. The Democrats did all we think they could’ve done.”

James noted the polls tightening, as Republican oppo began to hit with swing voters, and that Gillum’s lead generally was within the margin of error in those surveys.

“I don’t think [Gillum] ran a bad campaign,” James related.

The loss, should it hold, came down to “[Donald] Trump and the Republicans dialing into their number one topic: fear.”

In the primary, Gillum was aware of his effort being buoyed by outside groups.

“I try to be my own best messenger,” Gillum said this summer, “and hope that they can pick up from kind of where I leave off, and frankly create ads and advertisements that use my voice and get my voice out there.”

While it is uncertain whether the recount will work out for Gillum and Sen. Bill Nelson, what’s clear is that the Collective PAC got significant ROI, with the worst-case scenario being that an African-American candidate came very close winning the Governor’s race.

The best case scenario? That depends on tabulation in 67 counties.

Third-party gubernatorial candidate rejects ‘spoiler’ argument

First the vote. Then the “spoiler” charge.

After every close election, the inevitable post-game narrative involves some variation of “did the third-party candidate cause a major party candidate to lose?”

A couple of examples for those new to American politics: the Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan effects in 2000. The Jill Stein and Gary Johnson blame game after 2016.

In both cases, the third-party candidates were ignored through the campaign, regarded as spoilers, with any supporters decried for having “wasted their votes.”

In the wake of Florida’s statewide triple-recount, a similar narrative has emerged in Palm Beach County.

The Palm Beach Post reported Tuesday of potentially “confused” voters in the Democratic stronghold who may have mixed up the ballot lines of Republican Ron DeSantis and Reform Party candidate Darcy Richardson.

“There’s been a lot of over-votes and those have been in the Governor’s race,” said an attorney from the local Republican Party. “It certainly appears there was confusion and based on that confusion I believe the Reform Party candidate got an uncharacteristic amount of votes more than he should have. And if that did not occur there wouldn’t be a recount in the DeSantis race.”

Whether it is possible or not to determine an appropriately “characteristic amount” of votes for a candidate without tens of millions of dollars behind him is an open question. Likewise, the question of whether his voters simply didn’t know how to fill in a ballot. And the definition of a “lot” of overvotes is yet another subjective determination.

Regardless, Richardson’s 0.57 percent of the popular vote is more than the 0.41 percent difference between DeSantis and Gillum, neither of whom were able to top 50 percent. Other third-party candidates accounted for 0.66 percent of the vote.

There are a couple of ironies in Palm Beach being the epicenter of questioning a legitimate third-party challenge.

In 2000, voters mixed up Buchanan and Al Gore on the Presidential ballot.

Yet in 2018, Richardson actually underperformed compared to statewide in Palm Beach County, garnering 0.35 percent of the vote.

On Wednesday, Richardson was unapologetic about the drama in Palm Beach, noting that one issue was ballot design.

“To the degree there was any confusion among DeSantis voters — and I’m not sure there was — it could easily have been avoided if Florida fully listed the name of each party on the ballot rather than identifying them with a ridiculous three-letter abbreviation.  It’s obviously detrimental to the state’s minor parties and every other state in the country lists a party’s complete name on the ballot,” Richardson noted.

“I disagree with the assertion that there was any widespread confusion on the part of DeSantis voters,” continued Richardson. “I’m not sure how many Republican voters in Palm Beach County may have inadvertently voted for both of us — the article wasn’t clear about that — but that doesn’t appear to have happened anywhere else in the state based on the number of ‘overvotes’ reported by various counties in both the initial and machine recount totals.

“We’ve been looking at those numbers closely,” he added.

Ballot anomalies, including a design flaw in Broward that led to apparent undervotes in the U.S. Senate race, have been a recurrent story since Election Night.

Richardson has garnered his share of criticism from Gillum supporters; an irony, he said.

“The more than 47,000 Floridians who voted for us last Tuesday clearly weren’t happy with either major-party candidate and were looking for a pragmatic, centrist alternative,” Richardson said.

“We’ve taken a considerable amount of heat since last Tuesday, but the Gillum forces are wrong in blaming us for their candidate’s apparent loss. They just want somebody to blame,” Richardson added.

“Moreover, we personally campaigned heavily in traditional ‘red’ rural counties and spent most of our time and advertising dollars in those areas — and those efforts were reflected in the proportionately higher percentage of the vote that we received in those counties compared to our results in heavily Democratic urban areas, such as Broward and Palm Beach counties,” Richardson added.

“We know for a fact that quite a few ‘Never Trump’ Republicans sprinkled across the state supported us, including several former and current Republican officeholders — most of whom, understandably, offered their support ‘off the record.’ Unfortunately, we can’t say the same thing about any elected Democratic officials,” Richardson noted.

“If anything, my candidacy kept the Tallahassee Mayor within striking distance of his unimpressive Trump-backed Republican opponent. But like I said, they just want somebody to blame,” Richardson added.

Richardson’s 0.57 percent is in line with some of his previous statewide voting totals, including 0.58 percent in his 1988 run for Senate in Pennsylvania. In his 2012 Democratic primary challenge to President Barack Obama, he actually got over 6 percent in Oklahoma.

Richardson’s spent the bulk of his adult life challenging what some might call a duopoly.

“In all of these efforts, third parties have injected new ideas,” Richardson told WJCT in August. “And that’s something we’re not getting from the Democratic or Republican parties, and haven’t, really, for most of my lifetime.”

Richardson’s gubernatorial campaign went uncovered, for the most part. However, the aftermath clearly reveals that he had an impact on the race, and a seeming need to question the legitimacy of his vote total is nothing he hasn’t heard before.

As a third-party historian, he is uniquely equipped to address these questions.

“The ‘wasted vote’ syndrome really took hold following Ralph Nader’s candidacy in 2000 and, in no small measure, has arguably led directly to the hyper-partisan polarization of American politics that we’re experiencing today where voters perceive virtually everything in strictly red and blue terms,” Richardson said.

“It’s a recipe for disaster, forcing Democratic and Republican candidates alike to the extreme edges of their parties while stifling any possibility of compromise and rationality in dealing with the myriad issues facing the country,” Richardson added.

“It also stifles the possibility of new ideas being introduced into the body politic, an important role played by third parties from the antislavery movement to women’s suffrage and the progressive movement embodied by both Teddy Roosevelt and ‘Fighting BobLa Follette in the early twentieth century. Sadly, the duopoly shuts out similar voices today,” Richardson noted.

The end result? Per Richardson, “the middle — the vast majority in this country, including those who might be slightly left-of-center or center-right — no longer has a real voice in this increasingly wretched and dogmatic environment.”

Rick Scott files recount lawsuit against Hillsborough elections supervisor

Gov. Rick Scott’s senatorial campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee are suing the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office for not allowing a designated representative for each group into the room where ballots are being recounted.

The parties filed the suit Tuesday in the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County.

The lawsuit cites Florida law that “unambiguously entitles each candidate and each political party” one representative present in the room where the recount is happening.

The parties say their representatives have been forced to monitor the recount in a separate room behind glass “without the ability to hear what is transpiring in the recount room.”

The lawsuit requests an immediate injunction against Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer and his office forcing them to allow a representative for both Scott’s campaign and the Republican Party to be physically present in the same room where the recount is being conducted.

The lawsuit cites a Florida administrative code that defines entities allowed to have a representative present during a recount as “a candidate whose ultimate success or failure in the race could be adversely or favorably impacted by the recount.”

It adds that the political parties affiliated with candidates in partisan races are also entitled to a representative.

Another provision states: “Recounts shall be conducted in a room large enough to accommodate … the necessary number of counting teams, the canvassing board members and representatives of each candidate, political party or political committee entitled to have representation.”

The lawsuit was filed by an army of attorneys from GrayRobinson including Tim Cerio, Andre Bardos, Christopher Carmody Jr., George Levesque, Jason Zimmerman, Ashley Lukis, and Jeff Aaron.

Scott declared himself victorious in his U.S. Senate bid against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson, but further counting of provisional and mail ballots put the two within a less than 0.25 percent vote margin, which triggers an automatic manual recount in all 67 Florida counties.

Both Scott and Nelson have filed a series of lawsuits including one by Scott attempting to allow the state to take control of voting machines when they are not in use. That suit was rejected. Nelson’s campaign filed lawsuits seeking to block canvassing boards from rejecting unconventionally marked ballots and another, which was denied, to extend the recount deadline. That deadline is Saturday.

Statewide, more than 8 million ballots were cast in the race.

The Florida Governor’s race between presumptive winner Ron DeSantis and his opponent, Andrew Gillum, is also being recounted. A manual recount is also underway in the Florida Agriculture Commissioner race. Locally, Senate District 18 ballots are also being recounted.

The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday evening.

Early recount totals show little change

Recounts wrapping up in small and mid-sized counties are showing few changes to initial results in the races for Governor, U.S. Senate and Agriculture Commissioner.

But bigger counties still have until Thursday afternoon to complete the state-mandated recount process.

In Leon County, where elections officials completed running more than 140,000 ballots through tabulating machines Tuesday afternoon, the candidates in the major statewide races all lost several votes.

Recounted numbers in Citrus County found two additional votes each for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, U.S. Senate candidate Rick Scott and Agriculture-Commissioner candidate Matt Caldwell.

In Alachua County, Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s lead over Scott among county voters grew by 26 votes. Statewide, Nelson trailed Scott by 12,562 votes when unofficial results were posted Saturday from the Nov. 6 election.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, down by 33,684 in the unofficial statewide numbers, gained 12 votes in Alachua County in his race with DeSantis. And Democratic Agriculture-Commissioner candidate Nikki Fried, up 5,326 votes statewide on Saturday, gained 26 votes in Alachua County.

While political arguments and lawsuits have put the focus of the recount on Palm Beach and Broward counties, Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley said he doesn’t expect there to be “dramatic changes” in the statewide vote totals.

“That’s what I have seen borne out in most other recounts that I’ve been involved with,” Earley said. “Even in the 2000 recount, we didn’t have a lot of change, Leon County especially.”

In Leon County, Scott’s countywide total dropped three votes while Nelson’s support went down five votes. DeSantis lost five votes. Gillum lost six votes. Caldwell’s countywide number went down three. Fried lost four votes.

Earley said he expects those numbers will be made up by each candidate if a manual recount is called because of undervotes being set apart in machine counting.

In a machine recount, all ballots are fed through voting machines. Ballots with “undervotes” or “overvotes” — in which voters may have skipped races or made extra marks in races, causing their ballots to be rejected by the machines — are set aside, or “outstacked.”

If a manual recount becomes necessary, county canvassing boards examine the “outstacked” ballots.

Machine recounts were called for the three statewide races because each was within a margin of 0.5 percentage points or less when the unofficial results were posted.

County supervisors of election have until 3 p.m. Thursday to submit their machine recount numbers. Races with margins of 0.25 percentage points or less at that point will go to manual, or hand, recounts.

Florida Division of Elections spokeswoman Sarah Revell said the recount numbers won’t be posted for each county until after the Thursday deadline.

“We will post the second unofficial results all at one time on Florida Election Watch,” Revell said, referring to part of the division’s website.

Scott recount attorney Tim Cerio said that, as of Tuesday afternoon, 25 counties had completed recounting, and the process had started in all but Clay County, where 90,040 ballots were tabulated in the first unofficial totals.

Lawyer says Andrew Gillum mulling legal action amid Florida recount

On MSNBC Monday morning, Democratic candidate for Governor Andrew Gillum‘s recount attorney, Barry Richard, suggested the gubernatorial candidate was seriously considering legal action.

Host Hallie Jackson noted that some counties will struggle to meet the 3 p.m. Thursday deadline for completing the recount.

Richard said that, if that happens, “the candidates involved have to decide which way to go.”

“I know that, in the case of Mayor Gillum, he has been reluctant to become involved in litigation,” he said. “But we are receiving an increasing amount of evidence that Florida’s effort to make the (elections) statutes more efficient has been done at the sacrifice of the fundamental right to vote.

“… He is reviewing his options,” Richard added, noting that Gillum has “always had the option” to file a lawsuit.

“Up until now, we have not been actively preparing to file one. But as of this morning,” Richard said, “we had a discussion in which he wants … advice regarding what options he has.

“What Mayor Gillum is concerned about,” he went on, “is whether or not it ultimately would affect his race, that he feels an obligation to ensure votes are counted, not to sit back when we are learning that they’re not being counted for a number of reasons. Not fraud, by the way, but the operation of the statutes.”

Gillum is down by nearly 34,000 votes currently.

“I don’t think he is being motivated right now by whether or not he will turn the election around,” Richard said. Rather, the concern is potential “disenfranchising of voters.”

Barry Richard—Andrew Gillum’s recount lawyer—takes leave from firm

Barry Richard, the veteran Tallahassee lawyer now representing Democratic candidate for Governor Andrew Gillum during the gubernatorial vote recount, has taken a leave of absence from his law firm.

That firm, Greenberg Traurig, adopted a leave policy for its lawyers taking on any matter “that might be controversial or disruptive,” Richard told Florida Politics Sunday morning.

“The policy is, you take a short leave of absence and then return to normal,” he added. “It’s really not a big deal … This is probably going to be over next week.”

The firm alerted Richard’s other clients he could continue to represent them personally, or they can find another lawyer. So far, he said he’s not aware of any client that has opted to go elsewhere.

Richard has some history with recounts in Florida: He represented then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential election challenge that played out in Tallahassee.

He said he has an “engagement agreement” to represent Gillum personally during the machine recount and hand recount, if any. “But it’s related to the campaign so I expect that’s who’ll pay me,” Richard said.

That representation likely won’t be inexpensive from an attorney once voted one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.”

“In addition to his successful representation of major corporations in bet-the-company cases, he has advised and represented all three branches of government, including both Democratic and Republican governors and legislatures, members of Congress, and multiple executive branch agencies as well as individual public officers and candidates,” his bio says.

Richard, who lives in Tallahassee, is married to Allison Tant, a former lobbyist who also chaired the Florida Democratic Party 2013-16.

He also served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) of the Navy, was second in command at the Attorney General’s Office under Robert Shevin, and was the Democratic state representative for a Coral Gables-Central Miami district in the 1970s.

Ron DeSantis calls election ‘clear and unambiguous’ ahead of recount

Republican Ron DeSantis said he is moving forward with his transition into the Governor’s Mansion, even after Democratic opponent Andrew Gillum withdrew his concession from Tuesday’s election.

“With the election behind us, it’s now time to come together as a state as we prepare to serve all Floridians,” DeSantis said in a video statement (below).

“Since Tuesday night, that is what I have been doing and that is what I will continue to do in the days and weeks ahead as I prepare to take office as the 46th Governor of the State of Florida.”

A completed tabulation of votes statewide shows DeSantis holding a 33,684-vote lead over Gillum. That’s 0.41 percent of more than 8.2 million votes cast.

Florida law requires an automatic machine recount of the election should the margin between candidates full below 0.5 percent.

Gillum on Saturday held a press conference during which he pulled back a concession to DeSantis made Tuesday night.

“Since that time, more information has come in,” Gillum told reporters.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner earlier on Saturday ordered a recount for the race.

DeSantis did not mention Gillum in his statement, and certainly didn’t go so far as Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott’s campaign did today in asking Democratic opponent Bill Nelson to forgo a recount.

But the Governor-elect did call the results of the election “clear and unambiguous, just as they were on Election night.”

“I am honored by the trust that Floridians have placed in me to serve as your next governor,” DeSantis said.

He also did not raise issues with voting irregularities in Democratic Broward and Palm Beach counties, something that has led to legal back-and-forth between Nelson and which prompted a lawsuit by Republican Agriculture Commissioner candidate Matt Calwell, who trails Democrat Nikki Fried right now, to file a lawsuit against the elections officials.

But DeSantis certainly suggested his campaign would be paying attention to any vote-counting proceedings.

“I want to express my appreciation to the supervisors, the canvassing boards, and the staffs for working hard to ensure that all lawful votes are counted in this election,” DeSantis said.

“It is important that everyone involved in the election process strictly adhere to the rule of law which is the foundation for our nation.”

DeSantis named a transition team earlier this week. They are still working, he stressed.

“Since the election a few days ago, we have begun our transition efforts to build an administration that can secure Florida’s future,” DeSantis said.

Takeback: Andrew Gillum retracts concession as recount begins

Andrew Gillum is walking back his prior acknowledgment that Florida voters elected Republican Ron DeSantis as Governor.

Gillum, the Mayor of Tallahassee, told news media on Saturday that he conceded the election to DeSantis on Tuesday night because he “had operated with the best information that was available.”

“Since that time, more information has come in,” he added.

Gillum said there are outstanding votes across the state. He also said there is “uncertainty” in the total number of votes that have been counted.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner earlier on Saturday ordered a recount for six races in the state, including the gubernatorial election. All fell within the 0.5 percent margin needed to trigger a statewide recount.

Gillum, as of 4 p.m. on Saturday, trails DeSantis by 33,684 votes, or 0.41 percent.

Gillum said he is prepared to accept the outcome of the race, so long as “we count every vote.”

But that could mean multiple recounts.

Barry Richard, a Tallahassee-based elections lawyer retained by Gillum’s campaign, did not rule out the possibility of the race heading to a manual recount after the machine recount is complete.

“Mayor Gillum is not waiving any legal right that he has to ensure that all of the votes are counted — that’s one of the reasons that he hired me,” Richard said.

A manual recount is triggered when the vote differential falls within 0.25 percent of the total vote.

Richard did not say whether Gillum would contest the final vote tally if he still comes up short.

“When the machine recount is finished, if [Gillum] is satisfied that the system has worked properly and there are no uncounted votes … I imagine he’ll be satisfied,” he said.

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