FL-Sen: Bill Nelson contests Rick Scott victory, calls for a recount

FL-Sen: Bill Nelson contests Rick Scott victory, calls for a recount
Sen.Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) attends an election sign-waving event Monday on the final day of campaigning in the midterm elections in Melbourne, Florida. Nelson has announced that there will be a recount after he lost his Senate seat to Gov. Rick Scott by less than half a percentage point. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) announced in a brief statement Wednesday that there would be a recount after his declared loss to Republican Gov. Rick Scott in Tuesday’s election.

What are the details?

When the Senate race was called Tuesday night, Scott had pulled out a very narrow win with only 50.4 percent of the vote compared to 49.6 percent — barely above the half percentage point that would have triggered an automatic recount. That lead had narrowed by Wednesday morning to 50.2 percent to 49.8 percent, less than half a percentage point.

In a brief statement Wednesday morning, Nelson said simply, “We are proceeding to a recount.”

A news release by the Nelson campaign stated that:

Unofficial results show U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson narrowly trailing GOP candidate Rick Scott by a little more than just 34,500 votes out of a total of 8.1 million ballots cast. That’s less than a one-half percentage point difference. State law requires a recount when candidates are with [sic] one-half point.

The Washington Post put the number of votes separating the two candidates at 38,717.

“The next step in the process is for the 67 county supervisors of election to re-check the total tally, and for the Nelson campaign to contact voters whose ballots were not counted due to a lack of ID or a matching address, for instance. The deadline is noon Saturday, or perhaps longer under certain circumstances, to determine whether the recount proceeds under law,” the Nelson campaign said, noting that it planned to have observers to monitor the process in each of those 67 counties.

What did Rick Scott say?

Scott’s campaign has dismissed the recount as a desperate attempt to change something that’s already settled.

“This race is over,” Scott spokesman Chris Hartline told the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s a sad way for Bill Nelson to end his career. He is desperately trying to hold on to something that no longer exists.”