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Palm Beach County begins hand recount in Senate race

Posted at 7:08 AM, Nov 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-16 19:40:51-05

The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office says it expects to finish a manual recount of the state's highly contested U.S. Senate race by Friday.

The office also says that on Saturday at 8 a.m., workers will recount a state House race for District 89, followed by the Agriculture Commissioner race.

This comes after a Thursday order from the Secretary of State to complete a manual recount statewide for the Senate race and Agriculture Commissioner's race.

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Manual recounts are required when a candidate’s margin of victory is less than .25 percent.

“We just want to get to a place where we should start a manual recount. Right now we’re incomplete and we’re incomplete for various reasons, mostly because there were requirements that we show some duplicated, damaged ballots, and haven’t run those and requirements that we canvass ballots for over and undervotes that were duplicated by staff," said Susan Bucher, Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections.  "So, we’ve completed that process, but now we have to go run them through our tabulators to get the rest of our over unders.”  

They do not have to manually recount every single ballot, only ones considered overvotes or undervotes.

An overvote is a ballot in which the voter appeared to vote for more than one candidate in a race, and an undervote is a ballot in which the voter appeared to vote for no candidate in a race.

An election worker, along with a representative from each political party, will review the ballots in question. If they cannot agree on the voter’s intent, it will go to the canvassing board.

On Friday, Judge Mark Walker entered an order supporting House District 89’s position that the race be counted first by the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board. 

The results are due by noon on Sunday.