MIAMI (CBSMiami) – To meet the state-mandated Thursday recount deadline, the Miami-Dade County’s Elections Department has gone to a 24/7 operation.
The machine recount began just before 6 p.m. on Saturday. The around-clock-operation in the county includes 60 workers, assigned to 12-hour shifts.
Miami-Dade officials have said the 24-hour work will continue until the job is done, which they expect to be before the deadline on Thursday at 3 p.m.
The county got 5 more high-speed ballot-counting machines on Monday, bringing the total amount of high-speed machines to 14, and they expect to have machine recount done sometime Wednesday, a full day before the deadline.
The 5 additional machines are expected to be put into operation on Tuesday.
“I am very proud of our professionals our people who stayed overnight to make sure everything was done on time and done well,” said Miami-Dade commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz.
In anticipation of the recounts, election workers began sorting ballots two days before they were announced on Saturday.
Miami-Dade Elections Supervisor Christina White counts with specially ordered high-speed ballot counting machines to help her in the process.
As of noon on Monday, half of the county’s ballots had been counted. They hope to have the rest down by Wednesday morning.
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner ordered recounts from 67 elections departments after receiving unofficial vote tallies on Saturday.
Recounts were triggered because vote totals in three of the state’s main races were separated by less than half a percentage point.
Unlike Broward County where there have been loud protests and unsubstantiated charges of fraud in the elections office, Miami-Dade County’s recount process is running like a well-oiled machine.
The observation room is occupied by a few reporters, representatives of the Republican and Democratic parties, and other election watchers.
“We are just here to observe as a non-partisan organization and just making sure everything is going on the way it should be,” said Rachel Federgreen of the League of Women Voters. “We were worried it might be like watching paint dry, and so far it has been,” Federgreen said, laughing.
Miami-Dade went very blue in the general election, with Democrats taking statewide races by a margin of about 40%.
The races which are being recounted are for the US Senate race between Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum for governor, and Matt Caldwell and Nikki Fried for commissioner of agriculture.
Once the machine recount is completed, a hand recount will be ordered if the differences in any of the races are 0.25 percentage points or below.
The deadline to finish the recount is 3 p.m. Thursday.