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Florida very close to recount in presidential race even if results are moot

6:44 PM, Nov 7, 2012   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The margin of votes between President Obama and Gov. Romney in Florida continues to be razor thin. It's so close the state could still see a recount, even though the results would have no effect on the race.

Nine Florida counties spent Wednesday day counting absentee ballots that poured in at the last minute.

Florida Secretary of State spokesman Chris Cate says counting absentee ballots is more time consuming because it's not as simple as running them through a machine. Local canvassing boards must verify the signature on a ballot before it can be counted.

President Obama leads Romney by about 45,000 votes out of 8.3 million ballots cast in Florida.

That margin is just over a half percent. If the final tally falls within a half percent, then state law orders a recount.

But Cate says Gov. Romney could decline a recount.

"It's a little bit unique in this scenario where the candidate, in this case Gov. Romney, has already conceded the presidential election and therefore the recount in Florida may not really have any impact on the actual Electoral College count. So Gov. Romney does have the option to decline the recount if it's not going to make a difference in the race and therefore we may not actually go to a recount in Florida even if we're in that half percentage margin."

Counties across Florida are also tabulating provisional ballots right now. Those results must be turned in to the state by Saturday.

Florida has until November 20 to certify its election results.

First Coast News

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