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Read our current and previous coverage of the 2018 election season as you prepare to cast your ballot. You'll find information on important races, explanations of constitutional amendments and details of local referendums.

Tampa Bay Counties Starting Manual Recounts

Roberto Roldan/WUSF

Tampa Bay counties have completed the machine recounts in the U.S. Senate, Florida Governor and Agriculture Commissioner races, and are now preparing for manual recounts in the Senate and Agriculture Commission races.

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner ordered manual recounts in those races because the margin between the top two candidates in each is less than .25 percent.

“If the results are then .25 or less, then it moves to a manual recount, and teams will then go through all of these overvotes and undervotes or blank ballots to make sure there wasn’t any marks on them that the machine missed,” Craig Latimer, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, told WUSF last week.

In the case of an undervote, this means a person didn’t select a candidate in one or more races. An overvote means the voter selected more than one candidate for a race. 

As for what’s next, here are what some Tampa Bay counties plan to do:

Hillsborough - In a machine recount, Hillsborough County's total number of votes was 846 fewer than were originally counted. This is a difference of less than 0.16 %. In addition, the differences in percentages between the candidates remained the same.

However, because of that decrease, Latimer said the county canvassing board decided to not submit those returns, and instead go back to the first set of unofficial returns.

Hillsborough will begin the manual recount at 9 a.m. Friday. In addition to the statewide races, a manual recount will also be held for the State Senate 18 seat, where Democrat Janet Cruz holds a 376 vote lead over incumbent Republican Dana Young.

Manatee - In the machine recount, Manatee County added 23 votes. Results can be found on the county website.  Supervisor of Elections Michael Bennett says a manual recount will start at 8 a.m. Friday.

Pasco - In the machine recount, the number of ballots cast in Pasco County decreased by 2 votes. Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley says the accuracy in vote change was “spot on.” The recount results can be found here. The county will begin a manual recount Friday at 8 a.m. 

Pinellas - In the machine recount, the total amount of ballots cast in Pinellas County increased by 16 votes. The recount results can be found here. Spokesman for Pinellas County Dustin Chase says the manual recount will start at 9 a.m. Friday.

Sarasota - In the machine recount, the total amount of ballots cast in Sarasota County decreased by 82 votes. Results can be found on the county website. The county is preparing for a manual recount on Friday at 9 a.m. 

On Friday, all overseas and military ballots will be counted if they are postmarked on or before Nov. 6. Results for the overseas ballots and manual recounts need to be submitted from each county by noon on Sunday.

On Tuesday Nov. 20, each county must have their final results verified.

Jeslyn Santiago is a WUSF/USF Zimmerman School digital news intern for fall 2018.
Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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