An unprecedented statewide hand recount is now under way in the Sunshine State, further extending a muddled, high stakes battle over every last vote in Florida’s crucial U.S. Senate race. But, barring a legal challenge, the race for governor is over. Following a five-day machine recount of the more than 8.3 million votes cast in the Nov. 6 election, Secretary of State Ken Detzner ordered hand recounts Thursday afternoon in the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Bill Nelson and Gov. Rick Scott, and also the race for agriculture commissioner between Nicole “Nikki” Fried and Matt Caldwell. The race for governor, which also went through a machine recount, was outside the margins that trigger a manual recount as new tallies came in, making Republican former congressman Ron DeSantis the governor-elect a full nine days after Democrat Andrew Gillum first conceded. … Gillum, who explicitly revoked his election night concession Saturday as a machine recount began, did not re-concede Thursday, if there is such a thing.
… Detzner’s manual recount order gives canvassing boards in the state’s 67 counties three hectic days to pore over thousands of ballots that were rejected by machines because of “overvotes” — when a voter appears to have chosen more than one candidate in a race — or “undervotes,” in which a voter appears to have skipped a race altogether. With the help of state guidelines, the canvassing boards, which are allowed to enlist the help of volunteers, will try to determine how these voters intended to vote.
It’s unclear how many such overvotes and undervotes exist in the U.S. Senate race. A Herald/Times analysis of state and county data shows the number could be between 35,000 and 118,000. But the determination on whether any of those ballots will count — and the ability of the state’s elections supervisors to get through all the ballots — will be crucial to Nelson’s long-shot bid to keep his seat.