Provisional ballots to be counted in Mack Bernard, Jeff Clemens Senate race

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- A Tallahassee judge has ordered Palm Beach County count nine more provisional ballots in the senate race between Rep. Jeff Clemens and Rep. Mack Bernard.

Counting these ballots can only change the margin of victory for Rep. Clemens in the race, but it isn't enough enough to change the outcome.

You may remember a mandatory recount proved that Rep. Clemens beat out Rep. Bernard by 17 votes.

Bernard wanted 40 absentee ballots to be counted to hopefully change the outcome.

Monday, a Tallahassee judge rejected the 40 absentee ballots Bernard wanted to be counted.

These ballots were previously rejected by the Palm Beach County canvassing board because signatures on file and on absentee ballots didn't match.

The judge didn't accept affidavits from 23 voters who were willing to testify they had cast the ballots in question.

Bernard's attorney, J.C. Planas, said the will of the voters is being disregarded.

"The standard should be to err on the side of the voter. Voter protection is the most important thing. That was the heart of our case," Planas said.

The attorney says he will appeal the decision to a higher court, but winner Rep. Clemens said he's moving forward, ready to serve in the state senate.

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