Vote are due in Florida's hotly contested elections

Vote are due in Florida's hotly contested elections
Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, left, shakes hands with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum after a CNN debate, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Tampa, Fla.

Chris O'Meara | Pool | Getty Images

Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, left, shakes hands with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum after a CNN debate, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, in Tampa, Fla.

Unofficial vote tallies in Florida's elections were due by midday Saturday, which could promptly recount in the hotly contested races for governor and Senate.

At stake was the tight and acrimonious U.S. Senate race between Republican Gov. Rick Scott and incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson. The governor's race between former Republicans Rep. Ron DeSantis and the Democratic Mayor of Tallahassee, Andrew Gillum, might face a recount.

Nelson wants to return to Washington for a fourth term or the Republicans wants to pad their Majority in the Senate.

Gillum conceded to DeSantis on Tuesday night, but when the results began to narrow, he said: "Every vote should count." DeSantis has said "little about the recount and instead of proceeding as if he won the election, appointing a transition team and preparing to take office" in January.

The battle for Nelson's Senate seat has been much more heated, with both sides filing lawsuits and trading verbal jabs. Scott Nelson is trying to steal the ballot. President Donald Trump has weighed in on behalf of Scott, calling the situation "a disgrace."

Scott had asked the Florida Department of Law's Enforcement to Investigate Elections departments in South Florida's Democrat-leaning Broward and Palm Beach Counties after his lead narrowed in ballot-counting that continued through the week. However, a spokeswoman for the agency said Friday that there were no credible allegations of fraud; therefore, no active investigation.

The governor, meanwhile, filed lawsuits in both counties seeking more information on how their ballots were being tallied. Nelson filed his own federal lawsuit Friday, seeking to postpone the Saturday deadline to submit unofficial election results.

Judges sided with Scott in ruling late Friday ordering election supervisors in the two counties.

Meanwhile, the Broward Canvassing Board has not been approved. Lawyers from the camps, journalists and citizens crowded into a room to observe the proceedings.

Scott's lead narrowed by Friday evening to 0.18 percentage points -a lead of less than 15,000 out of nearly 8.2 million ballots cast – below the threshold for a recount. Florida law requires a machine recount when the leading candidate's margin is 0.5 percentage points or less, and a hand recounts if it's 0.25 or less.

In the race for governor, DeSantis was leading by 0.43 percentage points late Friday.

Democrat Nikki Fried and Republican Matt Caldwell is in the heat of the day, with 3,120-vote lead, a margin of 0.039 percent.

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