In Florida when a race is close a candidate cannot “call for a recount.” Instead, it all comes down to math. If any candidates are within half a percentage of each other, Florida law requires a recount. Right now that’s the case for the U.S. Senate race, as well as the contests for state agriculture commissioner and governor.
Election Supervisors have until noon Saturday to turn in what are known as the first unofficial results. By two o’clock that same day the Florida Secretary of State is expected to certify those results and order a machine recount for any multi-county races within half a percentage point.
Supervisors then have until the 15th to complete that process and turn in the second unofficial results. If those results show any races within a quarter of a percent of each other, the secretary will order a manual recount—this time supervisors will hand check any ballots voting machines identify as over or under votes, meaning the machine thinks the voter voted twice in one race, or not at all.
That process must be wrapped up by November 18 when official returns are due. Any county that doesn’t make the deadline will have to use the results it turned in at the previous deadline.