Florida officials want more time to recount ballots in key electoral races — one of which involves Gov. Rick Scott, who removed himself Wednesday from the recount process.
Election officials say they need the extra time to recount all the ballots, particularly after hitting a technical snag with the counting equipment.
Efforts in Palm Beach County were stalled late Tuesday when counting equipment overheated and stopped working.
Even before the machines malfunctioned, election officials said they would not be able to meet the 3 p.m. Thursday deadline to submit final recount numbers for two key races. Gov Rick Scott still leads the race for Sen. Bill Nelson’s congressional seat, and Republican Ron DeSantis leads Democrat Andrew Gillum in the race for governor.
The deadline to file final tallies has been pushed back to Tuesday.
A judge originally granted election officials more time after the equipment malfunction, but Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner’s attorneys moved the lawsuit to federal court Tuesday before the order could be signed.
If the deadline isn’t extended, original election night figures from Palm Beach County will be submitted, with an explanation for why the county failed to meet the deadline for a recount, per Florida election law.
Wednesday, Scott said he will recuse himself from participating in the recount process to avoid potential conflicts of interest. He did the same thing in 2014 in a close race for re-election for governor.
The most recent tallies have Scott ahead of Nelson by 12,100 votes and DeSantis up on Gillum by about 50,000.
Scott and President Donald Trump have criticized recount efforts in Florida, with Trump calling ballots in the state “massively infected.” He urged the state to go with the original election night results, which gave the Republican candidates the lead.
No evidence of fraud has been uncovered, officials have said.
This article provided by NewsEdge.