Here's how vote recounting works in Florida
FLORIDA — With extremely close margins in the races for U.S. senate and agriculture commissioner, and a governor's race that is nearing the threshold, it appears as if Florida could be headed for recounts.
According to the Miami Herald, unofficial statewide results have to be reported to the state elections office before a recount can be officially ordered.
Counties must turn in their unofficial returns by noon on Saturday, Nov. 10.
The secretary of state is required to order a machine recount if the margin in a statewide election is less than 0.5 percent. Losing candidates can refuse a recount.
If an automated recount is ordered, the second round of unofficial returns would be due from counties by 3 p.m. on Thursday Nov. 15.
In a machine recount, damaged ballots are copied, all ballots are re-scanned and then the number of total votes cast according to the machines are compared with the number of votes initially tallied by the county.
If the machine recount numbers are similar, the vote is counted as accurate. And if the margin in the race is larger than 0.25 percent, the results are counted as official.
If the margin after the second round of machine counting falls below 0.25 percent, then Florida can order a manual recount for federal and state elections.
A manual recount involves counting each overvote and undervote by hand. An overvote refers to voters marking more choices than permitted on the ballot. An undervote means the voter made no choice or fewer than the number of allowable choices on the ballot.
On Nov. 16, overseas and military ballots are counted. Counties need to give official returns by noon on Nov. 18. Official results from counties are then certified by the state on Nov. 20.
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