<![CDATA[TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Department of State on Saturday formally called for the machine recount of more than 8 million ballots in three statewide midterm races.
The announcement has been expected for days as races for U.S. Senate, Florida governor and state agriculture commissioner, a statewide elected post, have consistently had margins of less than .5 percent, which is enough to prompt a recount under Florida law.
As of noon Saturday, when preliminary vote totals were to be submitted, the agriculture commissioner race between Democrat Nikki Fried and Republican Matt Caldwell were the closest, with the candidates sitting just .06 percent apart. If that margin remains under .25 after the machine recount, which has to be completed by Nov. 15, it would go to manual recount.
In the Senate race, Republican Gov. Rick Scott leads Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson by .15 percent, which if it stands after the recount would also land it in manual recount territory. In the governor’s race Republican Ron DeSantis leads Democrat Andrew Gillum by .41 percent.
Election officials also called for recounts in three Florida legislative races, including:
Senate District 18: Democrat Janet Cruz leads incumbent Republican state Sen. Dana Young by .18 percent
State House District 26: Republican Elizabeth Fetterhoff leads Democratic incumbent state Rep. Patrick Henry by .1 percent
State House District 89: Republican Mike Caruso leads Democrat Jim Bonfiglio by .22 percent.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine