Counties gather final tallies as deadline looms for unofficial election results

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By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 9, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- It’s three days past Election Day and votes are still being counted across Florida, including in Leon County.

"There's a delay from election night until the first unofficials to make sure that we have everything tabulated properly,” said Mark Earley, Supervisor of Elections for Leon County.

Although the delay is gaining national attention, Earley said this is the typical process for any election.

"It's not really that rare that this happens. It's just happening in a political climate that is very partisan,” he said.

Check points are in place to ensure results are accurate. Including a canvassing board, with investigates un-scanned and provisional ballots and determines if they should or should not be counted. Leon County’s canvassing board met Friday afternoon.

Once all ballots are counted-- including mail in and early voting-- and the canvassing board completes its work, the first unofficial results are turned over to the state. Counties have until noon on Saturday to do that.

Florida law requires a recount if those results are within .5 percent or less of each other. If a machine recount is required, a second tally is produced. Depending on those results, a manual recount could be issued. All of this, before results are final and certified.

"It's just like 2000. The only reason it got to be in the news, it was contentious, was because it got so close. But, nothing much different is happening now than has happened in previous elections,” said Earley.

The Supervisor said counties statewide are simply using the time they have allotted to gather their results.

"They're doing due diligence, they're making sure they got it right,” he said. “It may look bad to the world that doesn't really know what they're doing, but they are doing their best."

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