TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The nation is again turning its attention to Florida in the wake of the midterm election.
Millions of ballots are being tabulated in razor-thin races for U.S. Senate, governor and agriculture commissioner.
- Judges side with Scott campaign in ballot counting issue
- Nelson campaign sues to extend recount deadlines
- FDLE: No allegations of voter fraud in the counties
- READ THE LAWSUITS: Susan Bucher, Brenda Snipes
- CONTINUING COVERAGE: LIVE UPDATES from our reporters covering the results ▼
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The official recount began in several counties over the weekend, but for some, the process begins Monday, including in Orange County.
Last week's midterm election has drawn controversy — and lawsuits. The lawsuits stem from the problems going on in South Florida, particularly Broward County.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for U.S. Senate against Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, has already won two lawsuits he's filed. In the first complaint, Scott's campaign alleges that Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes counted a certain number of ballots after Saturday's noon deadline, which is against state law.
Scott is asking a judge to require law enforcement officials to impound voting machines and ballots in Broward and Palm Beach counties when they are not in use until the recount is complete.
Nelson's campaign responded to Scott's lawsuit, saying that since the recount, the margin of votes between them has closed even more and is now roughly 1/15th of a percentage point.
Campaigns, Trump speak out
As more counties start recounting ballots today, President Donald Trump is calling for a halt to the recount efforts, alleging "missing" and "infected" ballots.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is running for Florida governor against Ron DeSantis, tweeted back, "You sound nervous."
Meanwhile, Scott's campaign has fanned thousands of volunteers to monitor the recounts.
Scott tweeted: "Our campaign is honored to have such dedicated volunteers. We had an overwhelming response to help monitor the recount. The #ScottSquad family will protect the fairness in this election no matter what."
One thing is clear: A good ground game and legal know-how will be key during the recount process.
Recount deadline fast approaches
In Palm Beach County, concerns are already swirling about whether officials will meet Thursday's recount deadline.
"With the election equipment that we have, the potential of conducting all of these (by the deadline) is impossible. It is impossible," said Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher, who had a lawsuit filed against her by Scott's campaign. "We've asked the secretary if there was any consideration to extend the deadline, and he said no."
Circuit Judge Krista Marx on Friday ordered Bucher to give the county canvassing board any duplicate ballots and any "overvoted" or "undervoted" ballots that have not yet been provided to the board by 10 a.m. Saturday.
Unofficial results submitted Saturday showed the margins of victory separating the candidates in those races were all within one-half of a percentage point.
In Orange County, about half a million ballots have to be recounted. As of right now, a machine recount is required, so the voting machines will be recalibrated and tested. And from there, elections officials will feed ballots through the voting machines for a recount.
In Broward County, officials say all machines have been tested and are ready for the recount.
Counting was underway Sunday at the Palm Beach County tabulation center.
Palm Beach County started its recount at 8 p.m. Saturday night. You may recall that that county was the epicenter of the 2000 presiential recount in Florida. Unlike that election, votes were filled out with bubbles this time, instead of the controversial butterfly ballots in 2000.