Florida, Georgia brace for possible recounts, run-off amid razor-thin midterm results
Bitterly contested Senate and governor's races in both states too close to call
Razor-thin margins in bitter races in Florida and Georgia for the U.S. Senate and governor are raising the possibility of recounts and a run-off, potentially prolonging some of the most closely watched contests of the nation's midterm elections.
In Florida's governor's race, Democrat Andrew Gillum's campaign said Thursday it's readying for a possible recount. He conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis on Tuesday night, though the race has since tightened. DeSantis led Gillum by 0.47 percentage point as of Thursday afternoon.
In the race for the Senate, Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson has begun preparing for a potential recount in a race that is still too close to call against Republican Rick Scott. Scott, the state's outgoing governor, held a 0.21 percentage lead over Nelson on Thursday afternoon.
The tight races underscored Florida's status as a perennial swing state where elections are often decided by the thinnest of margins.
In 2000, Florida decided the presidency by a few hundred votes in a contest that took more than five weeks to sort out
Run-off possible in Georgia
Meanwhile, Democrat Stacey Abrams' campaign for Georgia governor has reserved television advertising time and started sending vote-by-mail information to its supporters in the event she forces a Dec. 4 runoff with Republican Brian Kemp.
Unofficial returns from Tuesday's midterm election show Kemp with 50.3 per cent of the vote. That's a lead that would make him the victor without a runoff.
But Abrams' campaign believes there could be enough uncounted votes to bring Kemp below the majority threshold and trigger a second round of voting.
Abrams' voter turnout strategy depended heavily on absentee and early voting, and her campaign manager Laruen Groh-Wargo said there isn't enough time to wait for more ballot counting and litigation if they have to replicate that effort.
In a frantic effort to make sure every possible vote is counted, dozens of volunteers on Friday converged on a warehouse-turned-phone bank on Atlanta's east side.
Their goal: Try to reach voters who used a provisional ballot, then urge them to make sure their vote is counted by a 5 p.m. Friday deadline. County vote totals must then be certified by Tuesday evening.
State Sen. Nikema Williams, Georgia director for the group Care In Action, says at least 2,000 people across the nation are involved in the effort to ensure that Georgia votes are counted.