LIVE OAK, Fla. — As ballots continue to be counted, it appears three statewide races are headed to automatic recounts.
As of Friday afternoon, Ron DeSantis’ lead in Florida’s gubernatorial race had dropped to a little more than 36,000 votes with the margin down to 0.44 percent. A recount is mandated by state law within 0.5 percent.
DeSantis, the Republican nominee and a former U.S. Representative from the state’s Sixth District, had received 4,073,254 votes to 4,037,105 for Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee and Democrat nominee.
Gillum conceded the race late Tuesday night after the polls had closed and DeSantis led by more than 0.5 percent.
But provisional ballots are still being counted in most counties across the state, according to the state’s Division of Elections website. Broward County was also still going through early voting ballots as well as mail-by-vote ballots. Palm Beach County also still had not completed mail-by-vote ballots according to the elections site.
Gillum said Thursday that he was looking forward to every vote being counted, according to our media partners WTXL-TV.
"On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count,” the campaign’s statement released Thursday said. “Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported. Our campaign, along with our attorney Barry Richard, is monitoring the situation closely and is ready for any outcome, including a state-mandated recount. Mayor Gillum started his campaign for the people, and we are committed to ensuring every single vote in Florida is counted."
The U.S. Senate race between Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson and current Gov. Rick Scott, the Republican candidate, also continues to tighten.
Scott declared himself the winner Tuesday night in a race that was too close to call.
Nelson released a statement Wednesday morning calling for a recount.
With a lead that has shrunk to little more than 15,000 votes, Nelson will get that wish. Scott’s lead is down to 0.18 percent, which would trigger a hand recount since it is below 0.25 percent.
Scott filed a lawsuit Thursday night against the Supervisor of Elections in Broward and Palm Beach counties, alleging fraud in the ballot counting process.
“Every Floridian should be concerned there may be rampant fraud happening in both Broward and Palm Beach counties,” Scott said according to WTXL-TV.
Nelson's campaign, though, said the only objective should be to make sure all the votes are counted.
“The goal here is to see that all the votes in Florida are counted and counted accurately," said Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin in a statement Thursday night. "Rick Scott’s action appears to be politically motivated and borne out of desperation.”
In the Commissioner of Agriculture race, Republican Matt Caldwell had led since polls closed Tuesday before Democrat Nicole "Nikki" Fried edged ahead Thursday in a race that was deadlocked percentage-wise. Fried, though, has now inched ahead by 0.04 percent with a lead of nearly 3,000 votes Friday afternoon.