Nelson pushing for recount in extremely tight Florida U.S. Senate race

Florida’s U.S. Senate race appears to be headed toward a recount, based on Tuesday’s razor-thin margin.

Sen. Bill Nelson, who is trailing Gov. Rick Scott by 34,500 votes, says a recount in the U.S. Florida Senate race must take place.

Unofficial results show U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson narrowly trailing GOP candidate Gov. Rick Scott by a little more than just 34,500 votes out of a total of 8.1 million ballots cast. That’s less than a one-half percentage point difference. State law requires a recount when candidates are within one-half point.

“We are proceeding to a recount,” Nelson said in a brief statement.

Tuesday night, Scott claimed victory. But Nelson issued a brief statement shortly after that, saying only that the results to that point – with votes still left to count – were disappointing, and that he would wait until Wednesday before issuing a full statement.

The tally in the race continued closing into the predawn hours Wednesday and inched close enough to trigger a recount at about 3:15 a.m. As of now, Scott’s lead is 0.4 percent, or 34,537 votes.

The next step in the process is for the 67 county supervisors of election to recheck the total tallies. The Nelson campaign said it also plans to contact voters whose ballots were not counted due to a lack of ID or a matching address.

The deadline is noon Saturday – or perhaps longer under certain circumstances – to determine whether the recount proceeds under law.