Florida ordered recounts of the close governor and US Senate races

Florida ordered recounts of the close governor and US Senate races

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — State election officials in Florida on Saturday ordered a statewide machine recount in three tight races, including contests for governor and US Senate, while at least one beleaguered local elections board continued to review ballots and lawyers for Republicans threatened to sue.

The post-midterm election battle in the state — notoriously riddled with disputed recounts — has become a lightning rod for conservatives and President Donald Trump who claim Democrats are trying to “steal” the election from Republicans who currently hold narrow leads in two races. Trump tweeted as much shortly after the recount was announced.

A point of growing contention was whether ballots counted by local officials for the first time on Saturday afternoon could be considered in the recount, thereby changing the election’s final outcome. Under Florida law, noon marked a deadline for election local boards to submit unofficial results to the Florida Division of Elections.

County election officials were still considering some ballots into the afternoon — it’s unclear how many, but in Broward County, officials tried to assess voter intent on two dozen ballots with confusing marks. And Republicans were alarmed that more votes could roll in.

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