Tensions mount over US election contests in Florida, Georgia, Arizona


Tensions mount over US election contests in Florida, Georgia, Arizona

Fred Mazelis

10 November 2018

In the wake of the US midterm elections that shifted control of the US House of Representatives to the Democrats while increasing the Republican margin in the Senate, political tensions have mounted over remaining undecided statewide races in three states: for US senator in Florida and Arizona, and for governor of Georgia.

The Senate races in Arizona and Florida remained too close to call, with the margins tightening as ballot-counting continued in the days after the November 6 vote. In Florida, the number by which Republican Rick Scott led Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson had fallen to only 15,175 votes, 0.18 percentage points of the total, a figure that would trigger a state-mandated hand recount.

As vote counting of lengthy ballots proceeded slowly in the Democratic-leaning Florida counties of Broward and Palm Beach, Scott sued local officials. “No ragtag group of liberal activists or lawyers from DC will be allowed to steal this election from the voters of this great state,” Scott howled. The reaction of the candidate, the outgoing governor of the state, recalled the tactics following the 2000 presidential vote, when the Bush campaign effectively stole the presidency by suppressing a full recount of the state’s votes.

In Arizona, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema led Republican Martha McSally by only 9,000 votes in the contest to succeed retiring Republican Jeff Flake. If the leads in Florida and Arizona hold up through remaining counting, and the Republicans emerge victorious as expected in a November 27 runoff vote in Mississippi, the Democrats will have lost a net of two seats in the Senate, giving the Republicans a 53–47 margin, counting Senators Bernie Sanders…

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