A recount in the Florida governor’s race drew closer to becoming reality as votes continued to be counted throughout Wednesday, the day after the historic 2018 midterm elections. According to WFLV TV News, Republican candidate Ron DeSantis declared victory late on Tuesday night, though his lead over Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum had decreased as votes were counted the day after.
Gillum made a concession speech on Tuesday night as well, but according to a Twitter post from American Urban Radio Networks correspondent April Ryan, his campaign staff now believes that his concession was premature. As of Wednesday morning, Gillum trailed DeSantis by just 0.7 percent as ballots continued to be counted.
By later in the afternoon, the Florida Elections Commission website showed Gillum with just a 5.7-point deficit in the vote count, with both Gillum and DeSantis topping 4 million votes, and Gillum just 46,722 votes behind in an election where 8,179,560 total votes had been accounted for as of Wednesday night.
Both Duval and Palm Beach Counties in Florida had not finished counting absentee ballots by 7 p.m. on Wednesday, according to a Sun-Sentinel newspaper report. Gillum held a lead in both counties, according to a separate page on the FEC site, with 196,347 votes to 179,728 for DeSantis in Duval, and 339,214 votes to 239,861 in Palm Beach.
In Broward County, where Gillum’s lead of nearly 250,000 votes over DeSantis was the largest in all of Florida, officials told The Sun-Sentinel that they had no idea how many ballots remained uncounted, meaning that Gillum’s deficit would likely continue to shrink as more ballots were tabulated from that heavily Democratic county.
Gillum himself, while not yet calling for a recount, took to his own Twitter account shortly after 9 p.m. Eastern Time, to say that he is “looking forward to seeing every vote counted.”
As the Inquisitr reported earlier on Wednesday, an automatic recount would be triggered if the margin the race shrinks to 0.5 percent. A gain of about 7,500 votes would appear to bring Gillum within that half-percentage-point margin.
If a recount is triggered in the governor’s race, responsibility for initiating the process would fall to Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, who was appointed to that position by outgoing Republican Governor Rick Scott, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Scott himself ran for Senate against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson, and declared himself the victor on Tuesday night. But Nelson trailed by only 0.38 percent as of Wednesday and did not concede, instead calling for a recount in that race as well, according to a Tampa Bay Times report.