Democrat Andrew Gillum, who had sought to become Florida's first black governor, conceded on Saturday as a recount of ballots neared its end, and he congratulated rival Republican Ron DeSantis, an ally of President Donald Trump.
Congratulations to Andrew Gillum on having run a really tough and competitive race for Governor of the Great State of Florida. "This has been the journey of our lives".
The recount in Florida has put the state's election machinery to the test, and it has failed miserably: nearly 3,000 votes have vanished, the New York Times reported, while Florida recounts three state and three local elections that have yet to be called.
That narrow margin triggered a hand recount of problematic ballots, such as those where a voter filled in bubbles next to the names of Nelson and Scott.
Walker also ordered that voters be given until 5 p.m. Saturday to show a valid identification and fix their ballots if they haven't been counted due to mismatched signatures.
For example, Palm Beach County supervisor of elections Susan Bucher told the Times that there may be boxes of uncounted ballots and "dozens of precincts missing a significant number" of votes in the recount.
State officials ordered a manual recount earlier in the week after a legally required machine recount showed that Scott led Nelson by about 12,600 votes.
But Gillum issued only a brief statement saying, "It is not over until every legally cast vote is counted". "We know that this fight continues".
Gillum appeared in a Facebook video with his wife, R. Jai Gillum, to acknowledge his loss ― by a margin of just 0.41 percentage points. "Although nobody wanted to be governor more than me that this was not just about an election cycle".
The state's similarly close U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson and Republican Gov. Rick Scott remains officially undecided. The totals for Nelson and Scott have changed slightly, but not significantly.
Democrats want state officials to do whatever it takes to make sure every eligible vote is counted.
That recount has become the subject of an intense political battle with Republicans including Trump claiming without evidence that the process was marred by fraud. Snipes did insist that the ballots were still in the elections building.