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Recounts, runoffs loom over high-profile elections in Florida, Georgia

(Reuters) – High-profile U.S. elections in Georgia, Florida and Arizona remained unresolved on Thursday, two days after the vote, with the prospect of authorized challenges, recounts and poll evaluations setting the stage for attainable weeks of uncertainty.

The still-undecided races won’t tip the steadiness in both chamber of Congress however embody contests in elements of the nation vital to the futures of each events and probably to President Donald Trump’s re-election possibilities in two years.

In Georgia, the place Republican Brian Kemp declared victory in the governor’s contest on Wednesday on a slender lead, marketing campaign officers for Democrat Stacey Abrams on Thursday vowed to pursue litigation to make sure all votes are counted.

In Florida’s U.S. Senate race, a lawyer for Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson stated a recount may nonetheless ship him a victory regardless of a slim lead for Republican Rick Scott.

The Florida governor’s race between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum additionally appeared headed for an automated recount, after DeSantis’ lead narrowed on Thursday, regardless of Gillum having already conceded.

The hotly contested U.S. Senate race in Arizona between two congresswomen, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Martha McSally, appeared days away from a last name, with tons of of hundreds of ballots but to be tallied. Sinema took a slight lead over McSally on Thursday evening as extra ballots have been counted.

Democrats on Tuesday gained their first majority in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2010, whereas Republicans appeared more likely to increase their two-seat benefit in the U.S. Senate.

Another cluster of races in the decrease home the place votes are nonetheless being finalized may add to the Democrats’ new majority, strengthening their hand as they search to counter Trump’s insurance policies.

Republican U.S. Representative Karen Handel conceded defeat to Democrat Lucy McBath, a gun management advocate, in a suburban Atlanta district on Thursday.

Democrats additionally picked up two Republican districts in Washington State and New Mexico on Wednesday evening, although Republicans held onto an open North Carolina district in an in depth race.

According to media outlet calls and the info firm DDHQ, Democrats now have flipped 32 seats – 9 greater than they wanted to take over the House – with seven Republican-held districts nonetheless too near name, together with 4 in California, the place many ballots are but to be counted.


Abrams is vying to grow to be the primary black girl elected to function governor of a U.S. state.

The Georgia contest got here underneath nationwide scrutiny due to Kemp’s position because the state’s high election official. Voting rights teams and distinguished Democrats accused the Republican of utilizing his place to suppress minority votes, an allegation he strongly denied.

Kemp on Thursday stated he had resigned as Georgia’s secretary of state, saying the transfer would guarantee “public confidence” in the ultimate outcomes, whereas liberating him to deal with getting ready for his new position as governor.

The Abrams marketing campaign informed reporters that there have been sufficient uncounted ballots to drive a runoff. Under state legislation, if no candidate reaches 50 p.c of the vote, the highest two finishers advance to a second vote in December. The election included a third-party candidate.

Following midterm elections, Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp reacts after showing at his election evening get together in Athens, Georgia, U.S. November 7, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry

Kemp’s vote depend stood at 50.33 p.c as of Thursday, in line with unofficial outcomes.

“We are in this race until we are convinced that every vote is counted,” the Abrams marketing campaign’s chairwoman, Allegra Lawrence Hardy, informed a information convention. The marketing campaign stated it will file the primary of what could possibly be a wave of authorized actions on behalf of voters in one county who had issue voting absentee.

The Kemp marketing campaign accused Abrams of making an attempt to “steal” the election.

“Stacey Abrams can’t accept the fact that Georgians rejected her radical agenda at the ballot box, so now she’s desperately trying to steal this election in the courtroom,” stated marketing campaign spokesman Ryan Mahoney, in an announcement.

In Florida, Scott’s lead was narrowing on Thursday. Nelson trailed by round 17,300 votes, or zero.21 p.c, under the state’s zero.25 threshold for a hand recount.

“The results are unknown,” stated Marc Elias, an legal professional for Nelson’s marketing campaign. Historically, Democrats have a tendency to select up votes in recounts, particularly hand recounts, he stated.

Elias additionally pledged authorized motion if the marketing campaign discovered that rejected ballots on account of signature mismatches have been disproportionately hurting minority voters.

Scott’s marketing campaign on Thursday additionally accused Nelson of making an attempt to “steal” the race.

“It is sad and embarrassing that Bill Nelson would resort to these low tactics,” a marketing campaign assertion stated.

Slideshow (three Images)

In the Florida governor’s race, DeSantis’ lead had winnowed to about 38,500 votes on Thursday afternoon, or zero.47 p.c of the vote. The state conducts an digital recount when the margin falls under zero.5 p.c.

Gillum’s marketing campaign stated it was ready for any final result, together with a recount.

“We want every vote counted,” Gillum stated in a video posted to Facebook on Thursday. “In spite of the fact that we’re a little bit down in the numbers, we’re hopeful that every single vote will be counted in this race.”

Reporting by Joseph Ax in New York and Letitia Stein in TampaEditing by Scott Malone, Frances Kerry, Rosalba O’Brien and Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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