Florida Recount: The State of Play

The Florida secretary of state announced that the razor-thin races for governor, senator and agriculture commissioner will be reviewed in a series of recounts, which were triggered because the margins in all three contests are under 0.5%.

Posted: Nov 15, 2018 12:08 PM
Updated: Nov 15, 2018 12:08 PM


A recount is underway in Florida for the Senate, governor and agriculture commissioner races following the 2018 midterm elections. On Saturday, the Florida secretary of state announced the recount, which was triggered because the margins in all three contests are under .5%. Each county is recounting votes and the results from the machine recount are due back by Thursday.

As the deadline approaches, Republicans are seeking to cast doubt on the election process, and Democrats are leveling increasingly heated charges in return.

Recount votes could start rolling in

Are you ready to recount? Tuesday should bring our first significant data haul that will give an idea of if this machine recount will be demonstrably different than the original count. Many smaller counties are expected to wrap up their process as soon as Tuesday and both sides expect them to certify and post their results. The key will be to compare the vote totals issued Saturday to the vote totals now coming in on a county-by-county basis. It won't tell us the whole story, but it should provide a glimpse of what to expect.

Will it get done on time?

We feel marginally better Tuesday than we did Monday that we will get a full recount of at least the Senate race between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott, which is the race with the most at stake. The main source of worry was Palm Beach County where Susan Bucher, the Supervisor of Elections, predicted gloom and doom on Sunday, but on Monday after they got moving felt a lot better about their prospects. In fact, privately Democrats are holding onto the option of filing a lawsuit to extend the deadline, but at this point they are not moving forward because it looks like Palm Beach County will be done on time. Broward County remains confident they will get done on time, but they were slow to get up and running. While they are talking a good game, there are some nerves outside of the office that they will likely be pushing it right up to the deadline (you know, just like Election Night). Remember this is an enormous undertaking and even the best run counties, like Miami-Dade, expect to be done, but it requires them to count 24 hours a day, and they started soon after the order was issued Saturday afternoon.

Hearing pregame

Both Republicans and Democrats are beginning to believe that Wednesday's hearing in Federal Court could prove to be an enormous harbinger of the ultimate outcome in this race. Judge Mark Walker will be hearing a Democratic argument to revisit tens of thousands of ballots that were not counted because they did not strictly adhere to Florida law. Marc Elias, the lead Democratic lawyer, has repeatedly said that the way these ballots were handled disenfranchised a whole host of voters, particularly in minority communities. Not everyone agrees with that assessment. Mark Earley, who is the Supervisor of Elections in Leon County has been called to testify by the judge in this case. Earley is a veteran of the 2000 presidential recount. He said he is open to any suggestions to make the process better, but from his point of view the only ballots that are not allowed under these circumstances are the ones with egregious errors. "We err on the side of the voter," said Earley. "I think we try to make sure those votes are tabulated. But in my position, from my frame of reference, there has to be some check or guard against voter fraud."

Ultimately, Judge Walker will decide, and that decision could play a huge role in how this plays out.

Bay County problems

A new, surprising, problem popped up on the radar Monday. Mark Anderson, Supervisor of Elections in Bay County, told CNN's D.J. Judd that he accepted 158 ballots from voters who were impacted by Hurricane Michael via email or fax. That decision was in direct violation of a specific order from Florida's secretary of state that gave special guidance to counties ravaged by the storm. Anderson claims other counties made the same choice. He also was clear that he took special precautions to make sure the votes were cast appropriately. "I think the important part to realize that we actually were able to pull off a successful election with checks and balances, we just didn't do willy-nilly e-ballots, they have security that was on them. We have documentation that's on them," Anderson said. "We have all the processes to backup and protect why we did what we did." (READ: CNN's full story on the decision)

There is no question that Anderson was dealing with a unique and difficult circumstance after the devastation of the hurricane. Still, Anderson appears to have broken the rules. The question is will anyone call him on it? That could be a precarious position for both sides. Bay County is a Republican County. If Democrats cry foul, that could run counter to their standard of "count every vote." If Republicans defend this action, it takes a lot of steam out of their argument that the law is the law.

Should Scott recuse himself

A lot of noise was made on Monday about Scott removing himself from the recount process in his official capacity as governor. Scott has taken some controversial action, like asking the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate possible voter fraud (they found none), and asking Attorney General Pam Bondi to get involved. Scott was hit with a lawsuit Monday by the League of Women voters and Common Cause designed to force him to recuse himself. A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for Wednesday morning in federal court in Tallahassee. This, like much of the legal activity surrounding this story is theatre. So far Scott's actions, while bold, have had minimal impact on the actual counting of votes. In fact, both Palm Beach and Broward County agreed with him that some level of law enforcement monitoring the election equipment and ballots was a smart idea. However, Scott certainly runs the risk of taking it too far. He has already opened the door to Democrats describing him as a socialist dictator. In terms how this plays out, know this: only a court order will force Scott to recuse himself from anything having to do with being governor.

New York

Cases: 1242561

Reported Deaths: 40993
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens1550597836
Kings1519718037
Suffolk1259252577
Nassau1127022540
Bronx1038695255
Westchester837081789
New York744523434
Erie513841360
Richmond442101373
Monroe43659753
Rockland31509806
Orange28386642
Onondaga27190524
Oneida16502341
Dutchess16327304
Albany15981252
Niagara11822239
Broome10866254
Saratoga898479
Schenectady8480122
Ulster7548189
Rensselaer6693102
Putnam638674
Chemung5534107
Chautauqua546056
Oswego481663
Ontario464781
Steuben4541131
Cayuga431069
Sullivan376548
Genesee363098
Wayne360650
Herkimer352851
St. Lawrence349656
Cattaraugus334460
Jefferson309421
Madison307375
Livingston264538
Tompkins261322
Cortland260453
Columbia239769
Allegany232875
Montgomery216772
Tioga216754
Wyoming211441
Clinton209117
Fulton203948
Warren200437
Greene199557
Orleans189868
Chenango170439
Otsego162323
Lewis145123
Washington143823
Seneca120345
Franklin11039
Delaware99019
Essex95916
Schoharie8825
Yates79516
Schuyler71010
Hamilton1451
Unassigned39101
Out of NY0164

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2988326

Reported Deaths: 33589
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles101466213848
San Bernardino2512131560
Riverside2394122517
San Diego2117872103
Orange2108132367
Santa Clara926251065
Kern84644565
Fresno81294932
Sacramento791221080
Alameda66583757
Ventura60368412
San Joaquin56642748
Contra Costa51573446
Stanislaus42337739
Tulare40655501
Monterey35418250
San Mateo31805294
San Francisco28853254
Imperial25140463
Solano24732105
Santa Barbara24149231
Sonoma23607234
Merced23492296
Kings19125133
Placer16995173
San Luis Obispo15466128
Madera13193130
Santa Cruz12026113
Marin11482153
Yolo10406131
Shasta9594117
Butte9359121
El Dorado757544
Sutter756077
Napa735639
Lassen509413
San Benito488243
Yuba481827
Tehama397142
Tuolumne330438
Nevada314473
Mendocino307631
Amador298629
Lake250428
Humboldt229424
Glenn189419
Colusa16919
Calaveras159623
Siskiyou140813
Mono10834
Inyo92429
Del Norte8532
Plumas5735
Modoc3793
Mariposa3444
Trinity3024
Alpine730
Sierra700
Unassigned00

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 133205

Reported Deaths: 1800
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28337458
Washington18644171
Marion16172238
Clackamas11642138
Lane8272108
Jackson689285
Umatilla676568
Deschutes495236
Yamhill318245
Malheur313152
Linn310846
Polk244640
Klamath242838
Josephine173533
Jefferson170225
Benton169514
Douglas167743
Union111416
Wasco107123
Columbia104318
Lincoln99117
Hood River95121
Coos93715
Morrow93310
Clatsop6865
Crook61010
Baker5685
Tillamook3652
Curry3245
Lake2305
Grant2131
Harney1754
Wallowa963
Gilliam511
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00