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Recount ordered in Democratic primary for Florida's 20th Congressional District

Dale Holness, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick top vote-getters in bid to fill Alcee Hastings' seat
Palm Beach County Canvassing Board seen through security cameras, Nov. 4, 2021
Posted at 9:05 AM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 09:05:59-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A recount in the Democratic race for Florida's 20th Congressional District has been ordered.

Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee on Thursday instructed the supervisor of elections in Broward and Palm Beach counties to recount the votes in Tuesday's Democratic special primary to fill the seat left vacant since the death of U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla.

Dale Holness and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick emerged as the top two candidates among a field of 11.

Cherfilus-McCormick, who unsuccessfully challenged Hastings in the last two Democratic primaries, held a three-vote lead over Holness as of early Friday, according to an unofficial tally on the supervisor of elections websites.

Dale Holness and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick top vote-getters in Democratic primary
Dale Holness and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick were the top vote-getters in the Democratic primary for Florida's 20th Congressional District.

Holness, a Broward County commissioner and former county mayor, had a total of 11,657 votes compared to Cherfilus-McCormick's 11,660.

The Palm Beach County Canvassing Board was meeting Friday morning to conduct what the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections referred to as "a logic and accuracy test."

"And that's where we first test the machines to make sure that they're tabulating the votes correctly for those races," Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link said. "And once the canvassing board has certified those results, then we'll immediately go into the recount."

Wendy Sartory Link explains process of canvassing board in Florida's 20th Congressional District Democratic recount
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link says the canvassing board will conduct a "logic and accuracy test," followed by a machine recount in the Democratic race for Florida's 20th Congressional District.

A manual recount will also be conducted if necessary.

Because the margin between the top two vote-getters was 0.5% or less, a machine recount is required by state law.

Jason Mariner is the projected winner of the Republican primary, defeating Greg Musselwhite, who unsuccessfully challenged Hastings in the 2020 general election.