One of the tightest races in the election period this past Wednesday came to an official close with Gov. Rick Scott holding onto his position in Florida. The Republican narrowly beat out Charlie Crist, a former GOP governor who was running on the Democrat platform.
The gubernatorial race was one of the closest during all national elections, with the race at a statistic dead-heat just days before the polls opened. It was so close, many were worried there might be a repeat of the infamous Gore vs. Bush 2000 election, which required a recount due to the incredibly narrow margin between the two candidates.
The attorney who represented Al Gore at the time, Miami lawyer Kendall Coffey, said that that if the vote differential had been a half percent less, a machine recount of the ballots would have followed. This would include overseas, provisional and absentee votes. “Not there is a statewide decision to recount, not county to by county,” Coffey said. “Now it’s all in the statistics, not a local judgment call, and this time we have the optical scan ballots, the ones you fill out with a pen. No hanging chads.”
Christina White of the Miami-Dade Elections agreed. “In the event that a recount is called for this particular race, that’s going be completely under the jurisdiction and direction of the Secretary of State’s office and Elections Canvassing Commission, because it’s a statewide rade,” said White.
Fortunately, no such recount needed to take place, with Scott receiving 48.16% of the vote, and Crist getting 47.05%. Still incredibly close, but not enough to warrant a recount. Broken down, Scott won the race by 66,000 votes, a razor-thin result that can leave people second-guessing.
“They will have four more years to revise history if that will make them feel better,” said Tim Saler, Scott’s deputy campaign manager. “The facts are that the better candidate won and Gov. Scott’s campaign outworked and outperformed Charlie Crist’s in every respect. The proof is on the scoreboard.”