Lee County finalizes ballot hand counts ahead of deadline

Reporter: Anika Henanger
Published: Updated:
Photo by WINK News.

The races in Florida for US Senate and agriculture commissioner are coming down to a hand recount. The deadline is Sunday, and the elections department counted around 10,000 ballots by hand. Officials said the results are in.

Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office completed its hand count Saturday.

“We have ten teams counting the votes, and there’s about six representatives from the candidates and the parties looking at them,” said Tommy Doyle, supervisor of elections in Lee County

In both recounts in Lee County, candidates gained votes. Doyle said his department counted roughly 27 more votes for Rick Scott, Rep-Fla., and 71 more votes for Bill Nelson, Dem-Fla., than they counted previously.

In the agriculture commissioner race, Matt Caldwell, Rep-Fla., received roughly 20 more votes, and Nikki Fried, Dem-Fla., received 30 more votes than was counted previously in Lee County.

All of this was focused on ballots, where voters appeared to either select too many candidates for one race or none at all, also known as overvotes and undervotes.

When a team can’t agree on the voter’s intention, the ballot in question is sent to the canvassing board for further review, where the final call is made.

Doyle said they decided to wrap up tonight and certify the results of the hand recount. They are tabulating military overseas votes and any others that were given extensions. They said they will upload it all and send it to the state anytime now — ahead of the state’s noon deadline Sunday.

With all eyes on Florida counties, time is ticking away until statewide results are announced.

I think it will change for the democrats,” Velma Jackson said.

Others disagree.

“I don’t think they’re going to change at all,” Gary Ferer said.


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