Bill Nelson calls for recount in Florida Senate race against Rick Scott



Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for a recount of his race against Republican Gov. Rick Scott hours after Scott declared himself the winner of the Senate seat Tuesday night.

The latest numbers from the Florida Division of Elections show Scott with 4,081,179 votes, or 50.19 percent of the total vote, while Nelson has 4,050,940 votes, or 49.81 percent.

That's a difference of 30,239 votes, a difference of about 0.38 percentage points – and by Florida law, a recount is automatically triggered when the margin is 0.5 percent or less.

"We are proceeding to a recount," Nelson said this morning in a statement.

The Nelson campaign says Scott "prematurely" claimed victory on Election Day. Nelson did not officially concede Tuesday, but a spokesperson did say the results were disappointing and that Nelson would made a statement on Wednesday.

"This race is over," Scott spokesperson Chris Hartline said in a statement. "It's a sad way for Bill Nelson to end his career. He is desperately trying to hold on to something that no longer exists."

The automatic recount involves "running ballots through tabulating machines to determine the accuracy of the vote totals," according to the News Service of Florida. The Nelson campaign says it plans to contact voters whose ballots were not counted because they didn't have an ID or matching address, as well as station observers in all 67 counties to spot any "irregularities, mistakes or unusual partisan activities."

"We expect the supervisors, regardless of their party affiliation, will discharge their constitutional duties," said Marc Elias, an election lawyer with the Nelson campaign.

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