Charlotte County elections officials wrapped up the local machine recount of ballots in races for US Senate, Florida Governor, and Florida Agriculture Secretary at 5:40 PM Tuesday. Supervisor of Elections Paul Stamoulis says he expects to release the results of that portion of the recount at 9:00 AM Wednesday. He says he expects the machine recount will have a good result but he did not elaborate.
Following the release of the machine recount results Wednesday, Charlotte County is expected to participate in a manual recount involving ballots in the disputed statewide races. The US Senate race and the Agriculture Secretary race are both expected to be closer than the .25% margin that triggers a manual recount. Republican Ron DeSantis currently leads Democrat Andrew Gillum in the race for Governor. In that race, unofficial returns indicate that the margin stands at more than .25%.
Ballots from all 67 Florida county are currently being counted by machine. Several counties, including Broward and Palm Beach, are not expected to finish their machine recounts before a Thursday deadline. Lawyers have been seeking extensions for that deadline.
A number of lawsuits have been filed in several counties by lawyers for Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott. The results of those lawsuits could affect the timing of any manual recounts.
At this point, Stamoulis says he is planning to begin the local manual recount on Friday morning.