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Rick Scott asks Fla. secretary of state to include updated Broward tallies after recount helped him

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Senate candidate Rick Scott has asked Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner to include Broward County recount results, even though they were submitted after the deadline. While not enough to stop a manual recount from being triggered, these votes would widen Scott's lead over incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. (Saul Martinez/Getty Images)

Florida Gov. and U.S. Senate candidate Rick Scott has asked Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner to include Broward County recount results, even though they were submitted after the deadline. If Detzner approves, this would add several hundred more votes to Scott's lead.

What are the details?

On Thursday, Broward County had a 3 p.m. deadline to submit any recount results. The county submitted its election results electronically at 2:45 p.m., but those results took 17 minutes to upload. That meant that the county missed the deadline by two minutes. Because the county missed the deadline, the recount results were discarded and the results from Saturday were used instead.

“I have taken responsibility for every act in this office, good, bad or indifferent. I always hold myself accountable,” Broward election supervisor Brenda Snipes said, as she announced that the recount efforts by her team would be invalidated.

Palm Beach County had done even worse, failing to finish even a single recount before the deadline.

Vote tallies officially submitted by 3 p.m. on Thursday determined whether or not the vote goes to a manual recount. In a manual recount, election officials would go over any ballots that could not be read by the machines. The vote has to be within 0.25 percent for this to happen.

Had the results from Thursday's recount for Broward been submitted in time, Scott would have had a gain of 779 votes. While not enough to stop a manual recount from being triggered, these votes would widen Scott's narrow 12,603 vote lead over incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

What did the Scott lawyer say?

In a letter to Detzner on Thursday, Scott's lawyer, Timothy M. Cerio, wrote that while the results were not submitted electronically before the deadline, they had been completed and the results had been stated on the record.

“Any scenario that would permit a Supervisor of Elections and the canvassing board to complete one phase of a recount process, but revert back to older, outdated results because of an administrative failure to timely submit the tabulated results, would lead to absurd outcomes,” Cerio wrote. “For instance, a Supervisor of Elections could complete a recount process, and then refuse to timely upload those results because she preferred the first set.”

He also dismissed Broward County claims that election officials had been unfamiliar with the website, pointing out that “they were able to successfully upload a complete set of election results earlier this week.”

Detzner is a Scott appointee. On Wednesday, Scott's lawyer said that the governor would be recusing himself from personally overseeing the election.

What about the race for governor?

While the race between Scott and Nelson will go to a manual recount, the machine recount has ended with Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) holding a 0.4 percent lead over Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) in the race to replace Scott as governor.

That margin is large enough to avoid a manual recount, so DeSantis has been declared the winner. Gillum, however, has not yet conceded the race.

“A vote denied is justice denied — the state of Florida must count every legally cast vote,” Gillum said after the recount had ended on Thursday. “As today’s unofficial reports and recent court proceedings make clear, there are tens of thousands of votes that have yet to be counted. We plan to do all we can to ensure that every voice is heard in this process. Voters need to know that their decision to participate in this election, and every election, matters. It is not over until every legally casted vote is counted.”

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