On Saturday, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner ordered a machine recount of the ballots cast in the gubernatorial race between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum.
Because the unofficial final tally of votes cast in the November 6 election has DeSantis leading Gillum by just 0.41%, or approximately 33,600 votes, a recount is automatically triggered under Florida law.
Florida statute 102.141(7) states:
If the unofficial returns reflect that a candidate for any office was defeated or eliminated by one-half of a percent or less of the votes cast for such office, that a candidate for retention to a judicial office was retained or not retained by one-half of a percent or less of the votes cast on the question of retention, or that a measure appearing on the ballot was approved or rejected by one-half of a percent or less of the votes cast on such measure, a recount shall be ordered of the votes cast with respect to such office or measure.
On Saturday, Andrew Gillum rescinded his Tuesday evening concession to DeSantis, saying in part:
Since the last time we spoke on election night – an evening where I operated with the best information that was available to me – and since that time, more information has come in; more information has become available around the votes, around the votes that are still outstanding, and really for our need to ensure in this process that every vote be counted…
Let me say clearly: I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromised and unapologetic call that we count every single vote – that we count every vote. And I say this recognizing that my fate in this may or may not change.
What I do know is that every single Floridian who took time to go out, to cast their vote, to participate in this process, deserve the comfort of knowing that in a democratic society, and in this process, every vote will be counted. I’ve gotta imagine that if the shoe were on the other foot of my opponents, not one of them would seek a different outcome; not one of them would stand in the way of counting every vote. And I would ask them in this process, as it goes forward, that they stand in solidarity, all of us as candidates and as leaders in our own respective parties, to ensure that every vote be counted.
DeSantis released a video on Saturday afternoon in which he calls the election results “clear and unambiguous,” and states that he is already preparing to take the helm as Florida’s next governor:
At noon today, supervisors of election from across the state submitted their election returns to the Secretary of State. Those results are clear and unambiguous, just as they were on election night, and I am honored by the trust that Floridians have placed in me to serve as your next governor.
I want to express my appreciation to the supervisors, the canvassing boards, and the staffs for working hard to ensure that all lawful votes are counted in this election. It is important that everyone involved in the election process strictly adhere to the rule of law, which is the foundation for our nation.
Since the election a few days ago, we have begun our transition efforts to build an administration that can secure Florida’s future. With the election behind us, it’s now time to come together as a state as we prepare to serve all Floridians.