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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: 620199

Reported Deaths: 34443
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens878187349
Kings866287495
Bronx623785027
Nassau585672248
Suffolk585622045
Westchester484411510
New York437473224
Erie23071779
Richmond219511122
Rockland21111692
Orange16405517
Monroe13817313
Onondaga10024222
Dutchess6930186
Albany5426148
Broome5143138
Oneida4515147
Niagara3445105
Ulster318098
Chemung287234
Putnam261564
Schenectady228356
Sullivan213748
Saratoga208919
Steuben167887
Rensselaer162551
Chautauqua148016
Oswego14056
Ontario120237
Tioga108048
Wayne105212
Tompkins10000
Cattaraugus99726
Columbia98856
Cortland9572
Allegany93052
Genesee8909
Madison87818
Cayuga7948
St. Lawrence7439
Greene66118
Livingston6559
Herkimer63112
Chenango60510
Orleans59856
Otsego5878
Warren56935
Wyoming4995
Jefferson4873
Fulton47828
Montgomery46016
Clinton4435
Washington43914
Lewis3379
Delaware3369
Schuyler2893
Essex27514
Seneca2695
Franklin2557
Yates2477
Schoharie1832
Hamilton421
Out of NY0120
Unassigned024

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1171802

Reported Deaths: 19025
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3832757580
San Bernardino884691129
Riverside850771434
San Diego75307988
Orange731521559
Kern39990448
Fresno37349477
Sacramento35739566
Santa Clara32454476
Alameda28378502
San Joaquin25675502
Contra Costa23381260
Stanislaus21145422
Tulare20550308
Ventura18914175
Imperial15725356
San Francisco15053160
Monterey14695116
San Mateo13707170
Sonoma11846157
Merced11537179
Santa Barbara11205135
Kings1044087
Solano1003681
Marin7628129
Placer622468
Madera604785
San Luis Obispo595635
Shasta460147
Yolo456174
Santa Cruz420228
Butte385359
Sutter314415
Napa294517
El Dorado21544
Yuba198110
San Benito181316
Lassen17733
Tehama158725
Mendocino148522
Nevada11839
Tuolumne9088
Glenn8918
Lake88619
Humboldt8199
Colusa6946
Siskiyou6242
Mono5243
Amador48416
Calaveras47522
Del Norte3131
Inyo29016
Plumas2050
Trinity1390
Mariposa1262
Modoc1220
Alpine470
Sierra190
Unassigned00

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 68503

Reported Deaths: 867
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah15561230
Washington940198
Marion8650135
Clackamas568777
Umatilla421248
Lane405040
Jackson357925
Malheur234942
Deschutes207414
Yamhill161516
Linn131019
Polk114015
Douglas88217
Jefferson79811
Union7463
Klamath7454
Benton7447
Morrow6357
Lincoln60014
Wasco49719
Josephine4824
Columbia4573
Coos4061
Hood River3751
Clatsop3450
Baker2703
Crook2086
Grant1301
Curry1202
Tillamook1150
Lake1131
Harney901
Wallowa703
Sherman230
Gilliam210
Wheeler30
Unassigned00