FL Senate race hits threshold for mandatory recount, election attorney says

TAMPA, Fla. - (WFLA) - Results of the US Senate race between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott are now showing that counties must conduct a mandatory recount, according to Marc Elias, an election law attorney representing Nelson’s campaign. 

Elias said Friday that Nelson is within a 15,000 vote margin, which is down from 56,000 on election night as more votes across Florida are being counted. 

The margin is within .25 percent, according to Elias and requires counties to conduct a machine and hand recount. 

Elias expects the official order for the recount to be given as early as Saturday. 

Elias said Hillsborough County is one of many now prepared to start recounting as early as 9 a.m. Sunday. 

A machine recount would happen first and must be completed by Nov. 15, according to Elias. 

Elias said the hand recount must be wrapped up by Nov. 18. 

"This is a feature, not a flaw that we allow counties this time after an election to be sure every vote is counted,” Elias said. 

Elias believes the margin will narrow across all democratic races. 

Gov. Scott addressed his narrowing margin of victory from the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee Thursday night. 

“We’ve all seen the incompetence and irregularities in vote tabulations in Broward and Palm Beach for years, but here we go again. I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election from the great people of Florida.” 

Scott filed a lawsuit against the Broward and Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections offices. 

The lawsuit accuses the offices of failure to meet the 7:30 p.m. election night deadline of reporting early votes and vote-by-mail totals.

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