Unofficial vote tallies could prompt recounts in 3 contested midterm elections

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Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) got into a shouting match with a supporter of Andrew Gillum's during protests outside the Broward Supervisor of Elections office today.

Florida was also the site of bitterly-fought legal battles in the 2000 presidential election. And no angry mobs in suits at least not yet.

- A Broward County judge has ordered the immediate release of voter information sought by Florida Gov. Rick Scott from the county's supervisor of elections. Among other things, the infamous punch-card ballots are no longer.

Two major contests in the southeastern state, for governor and US Senate, hung in the balance on Friday, three days after the contentious midterm elections that saw Democrats seize control of the House of Representatives from President Donald Trump's Republicans.

Scott holds a razor-thin lead over Nelson.

The election controversy centers on populous Broward and Palm Beach counties in South Florida.

When the Florida's secretary of state verifies the first unofficial count on Saturday afternoon, and the winning candidate's margin is less than 0.5 percentage points, a recount is mandatory. That year's recounts were halted by the US Supreme Court, and George W Bush defeated Al Gore by 537 votes in Florida, giving him the edge in the electoral college and handing him the White House.

"What's going on in Florida is a disgrace", he said. Late Thursday, Scott announced that he has sued Snipes and Broward's elections office and asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate as "unethical liberals try to steal this election from the people of Florida".

FLDE spokeswoman Gretl Pelssinger said Friday that the agency is working with the Department of State and will investigate any allegations of elections fraud, but right now, there are no such allegations. The Nelson team is also looking at which absentee ballots have been rejected in Miami-Dade County, saying there has been a history of rejected absentee ballots from Hispanic and African-American voters.

But Broward County has been notoriously late with submitting election results. A state judge sided with Scott on Friday, ordering that Republicans be granted access to requested information about ballots.

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Canvassing boards are already meeting to go over provisional ballots and expect a recount to begin shortly in the smaller counties. Lawyers from the campaigns, journalists and citizens crowded into a room to observe. A recount is mandated by state law for a result this close.

Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio suggested that Brenda Snipes, the Broward supervisor of elections, should be removed from office once the dust settles on the race.

"Have you read the law?" the man countered.

Nelson issued barbs of his own.

"We believe that at the end of this process we believe Senator Nelson is going to be declared the victor, and going to return to the United States Senate", he said.

Unofficial results show Gillum trailing Ron DeSantis, a Trump-endorsed Republican, by just 38,515 votes out of 8.1 million cast, or 0.47 percentage points.

Meanwhile, the Democratic candidate for governor in neighboring Georgia was threatening legal action to ensure all votes were counted in her contest.

- The Florida Agriculture Commissioner race between Republican U.S. Rep. Matt Caldwell and Democrat Nicole "Nikki" Fried. Signatures were not visible in any Palm Beach Post photos. "Not 'fair election, ' not 'Make sure all the ballots are cast, ' [but instead] 'I'm here to win this election'".

"The votes are not there for her", he said. The melee became known as "The Brooks Brothers Riot".

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