Florida orders recount in Senate, governor races

Eighteen years after the Sunshine State found itself at the heart of a battle for the US presidency, it was once again in the spotlight after Tuesday's vote, which left the contests for statewide offices undecided.

Florida orders recount in Senate, governor races

Florida authorities on Saturday ordered a statewide recount in the contentious races for US Senate and governor, amid tit-for-tat accusations of fraud from the candidates -- plunging the state once again into election uncertainty.

Florida's 67 counties had been given until midday (1700 GMT) on Saturday to submit unofficial totals.

State law triggers a machine recount if the difference in a race is within 0.5 percent. Florida's secretary of state Ken Detzner issued the official order for the recounts after the deadline.

After the cut-off, the Senate race between outgoing Republican governor Rick Scott and incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson was extremely close: Scott's lead stood at just 12,562 votes out of nearly 8.2 million cast, a margin of just 0.15 percent.

In the governor's race, the latest unofficial results on the Florida division of elections website show Republican Ron DeSantis, who was backed by Donald Trump, leading Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum by just 33,684 votes out of more than 8.2 million cast, or a margin of 0.41 percent.

"Machine recount indicated," the website said in both cases.

Gillum -- who had previously conceded the race -- changed course on Saturday, saying: "I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromised and unapologetic call that we count every single vote."

In a statement, Detzner said the results of the machine recount would be due on November 15 at 3:00 pm (2000 GMT).

Trump was not amused by the development, tweeting from France: "Trying to STEAL two big elections in Florida! We are watching closely!"

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