It’s been a week since Election Day, and things are still not settled in the Sunshine State. Three statewide races—for governor, U.S. Senate, and commissioner of agriculture—are in the middle of machine recounts because the races were too close to call. That means the difference between the number of votes for each candidate were so slim that it automatically triggered the recounts.
Sounds simple enough, right? But there’s actually a lot more to know about this process, like logic tests, county canvassing boards and more. So we want to know what questions you have about the Florida recount.
And in case you need a quick refresher, here’s where things stand and how we got here:
HOW IT HAPPENS: State law says a machine recount happens automatically if the difference between the candidates’ vote totals is 0.5 percent or less. If it’s less than 0.25 percent, a manual recount is triggered.
The recount only truly became official when the secretary of state ordered it, and each county in Florida is now double checking their vote totals. Election night results are always considered unofficial until local elections departments do their final tallies (including stuff like military votes and provisional ballots) and they had until noon on Nov. 10 to get that done.
MANUAL VS MACHINE: According to state law, a manual recount focuses on undervotes and overvotes–basically a person not bubbling in a candidate or accidentally bubbling in two votes. In a machine recount, voting machines are tested for any errors and then the ballots are scanned again.
THE CANDIDATE’S ROLE: A losing candidate can ask in writing that a recount not happen but the candidates in the three statewide races aren’t conceding. The winners can’t contest the recount once it’s official.
WHAT’S NEXT: The second set of election results (which could lead to a manual recount) from all of Florida’s counties have to be reported by 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15.
And the final deadline for results, including recounts, is noon on Nov. 18.