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Politics / Issues
What you need to know about the 2020 elections across the greater Tampa Bay region.

After 2018 Recount, Spotlight Off Florida Election Process In 2020

President Donald Trump speaking at Tampa rally
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

The reason? President Donald Trump's decisive victory in the state.

There are razor-thin margins and votes still being counted in key battleground states across the country but one of those states isn’t Florida.

Memories of the 2018 recounts and 2000’s Bush v. Gore were fresh on Florida voters’ minds on election day, but votes in the state were quickly tallied with little hiccups.

A decisive Trump victory and the process by which Florida counts ballots kept the state out of national headlines.

“Florida has a lot of experience with mail ballots,” said University of Central Florida political scientist Aubrey Jewett. “We’ve allowed mail ballots for years now and we also allow supervisors of election to start counting those mail ballots much earlier than Election Day.”

A handful of states like Pennsylvania had to wait until election day to count mail-in ballots.

“That’s the biggest difference — that those other states, Pennsylvania especially has one or two million mail ballots, but state law required that they not start counting them until Election Day,” said Jewett.

While Associated Press and NPR have called Florida for Trump, it’s now up to the Secretary of State to certify the official results. But Trump’s margin is large enough that a recount is unlikely.

“Florida law sets the standards for when a recount would kick in. The only other way that some candidate might be able to try to get one is to file a lawsuit. But at this point, it doesn’t look like that would be necessary,” said Jewett.

Copyright 2020 WMFE. To see more, visit WMFE.org.