Bill Nelson's lawyer on US Senate race recount: 'We're doing it to win'

Lawyer says resolving balloting problems could lead to more Nelson votes

By Anna Johnson - Digital Journalist
Getty Images via CNN

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) speaks during a campaign rally at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades on Aug.31, 2018, in Orlando, Florida.

ORLANDO, Fla. - A recount on the Florida Senate election between Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is inevitable, according to Nelson's lawyer.

Unofficial results from the race show Nelson behind Scott by about 30,000 votes, which is less than the one-half percentage point difference required by Florida law to merit a recount. The Secretary of State's Office will officially order a recount if the criteria are met.

Nelson said the state is "proceeding to a recount" in a statement released Wednesday. In a Thursday statement, Nelson's lawyer Marc Elias said that recount would work in Nelson's favor.

“A significant number of ballots have not yet been counted and, because of the size of Florida, we believe the results of the election are unknown and require a recount,” Elias said.

According to Elias, Nelson's campaign could benefit from an investigation into balloting problems all over Florida.

Rick Scott's election team released a statement Thursday denouncing both Elias and his hopes for a Nelson victory.

"In his own words, Nelson's lawyer says this effort isn't about making sure every vote counts or getting a fair count. No, for Bill Nelson- the task is getting the 'win'…no matter what," the statement said.

Scott declared victory on Election Day after Fox News declared the results, which other agencies deemed the race too close to call. He called the election a "win" on Wednesday when asked for his thoughts on a potential recount. 

Nelson has not conceded. Elias thinks there may be no need for him to do so.

“We’re doing this not just because it’s automatic, but we’re doing it to win,” he said.

 

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