The Votes That Changed During The Manual Recounts

Florida’s recounts - The votes that changed during the manual recounts - Part 2 

Prior to the recounts starting in Florida's three statewide races and state races like House District 89 in Palm Beach County, I brought you a couple of really important numbers for context.  

  • 282 – The average number of votes that’d changed during a statewide recount since 2000 
  • 1247 – The most votes that’d ever changed during a statewide recount (Florida 2000) 

As I pointed out in a separate story the average change in the statewide machine recounts was only 35 votes. That bit of important perspective was never even remotely likely that Senator Nelson, Mayor Gillum or for that matter, State Rep Caldwell would be able to come up with the votes to close the gaps during the recounts.

While you often heard about how tight these races were, and on a percentage basis that’s true, thousands of votes of separation, let alone tens of thousands, is harder than successfully hiking Mt. Everest. That’s been done many times. Overcoming these deficits hadn’t. Here’s how many votes actually changed hands during the manual recount process.  

US Senate race – Nelson v Scott*: 

  • Change during the hand recount: 2,570 

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Caldwell v Fried*: 

  • Change during the hand recount: 1,427 

State House District 89 Caruso v Bonfiglio: 

  • Change during the hand recount: 5 votes 

Once all of the dust settles it looks like we will have a new record for changes in recounts based on a statewide recount but still well outside of any margins of any of these statewide recounts going in. This should be a lesson for future cycles as well. Thousands of votes worth of difference, despite percentage differences, aren’t actually close when it comes to recounts. 

*Impacted by judicial ruling to hold open deadline for mismatched signatures until 5 pm Saturday and overseas votes yet to be counted. Not all changes are the result of the recount.

Photo by: Joe Skipper/Getty Images

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