Manual recount presses forward with state’s rules intact

By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service
November 16, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- A manual recount in the U.S. Senate and Florida Commissioner of Agriculture races are underway.

Dozens of observers were keeping a close eye on questionable ballots in Leon County as the recount pressed forward across the state.

Elections officials are only looking at ballots rejected for under or over voting.

The staff are operating under a set of rules for determining voter intent outlined by the state.

“That give clear guidelines for our canvassing board and in this instance essentially for our counting teams and really anybody who might lodge an objection, as to what we intend to rule in certain ways,” said Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley.

Senator Bill Nelson unsuccessfully tried to have a federal judge strike down the state’s rules.

“The laws are there for a reason and we as voters and as partisans and as observers don't get to pick and choose which election laws we'd like to see followed,” said Eric Eggers, who authored the book, Fraud which looks at election security.

Numerous federal lawsuits are still pending.

At this point it’s unlikely any will change the outcome of the election.

While the paths to victory for Democrats are narrowing, they are pinning their hopes on the manual recount in large counties where tens of thousands are ballots are getting a second look.

That hope dimmed as Broward County finished the hand recount in the U.S. Senate race.

It a appears an estimated 30,000 undervotes in the Senate race were likely caused by flawed ballot design, not machine error.

“People just didn't see the race on the ballot and just didn't vote and sort of absent that, it's really hard to see a path forward for Nelson to win this thing,” said Democratic Strategist Steve Schale.

The hand recount must be reported by noon Sunday.

The Election Canvasing Commission will meet Tuesday to certify the results, after that, candidates will have ten days to file a contest to the outcome.

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