MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — As ballots in each of Florida’s 67 counties make their way through machines for the second time, the state’s supervisors of elections are already preparing for what could be the next order of business: a manual recount.
- Elections officials gearing up for manual recounts
- Poll workers looking at 'overvotes' and 'undervotes'
- ELECTION RESULTS: National, state, local races, plus all ballot issues
“We’re not going to be hand-counting ballots,” Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer said Tuesday, one week after the midterm elections left Floridians divided on several big races.
“As we do the machine recount, we are outstacking 'overvotes' and 'undervotes.'”
According to Latimer, that means they are pulling any ballot in which a voter leaves a race blank, or votes for two candidates in the same race.
“The overvotes and undervotes, those are the only ballots that we’re really going to be looking at,” Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Michael Bennett said.
Every county will have until 3 p.m. Thursday to run ballots through counting machines. After that's done, any race that remains within a .25 percent margin or less will be subject to a manual recount.
To conduct that recount, election officials will be placed into teams of two and will examine the overvote and undervote ballots that were set aside.
"Every one of those ballots will then be physically looked at and made sure that the voter's intent is carried out,” Latimer said.
During the manual recount, designated observers from each party, or from each candidate, can view the process.
While there’s no final answer on what this recount process will cost, it has been time consuming.
"There's a lot of overtime involved in it," Latimer told us. "I've actually leased additional equipment from our vendor, so there's costs associated with it, for sure."
Each county has to have their results certified by Sunday, November 18.