WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami/CNN) – Palm Beach County’s election department is feeling the pressure to meet a Thursday recount deadline.
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced the recounts over the weekend in races for governor, senator and agriculture commissioner after county election departments turned in their unofficial ballot counts. The recounts were triggered because the margins in all three contests are under .5 percent.
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said meeting the deadline will be virtually impossible. The only have eight machines to process more than half a million ballots.
“You know we would have preferred for the Secretary, whose responsibility it is to call the state-wide recounts, to provide a sequence so that each county is on the same page. We obviously never anticipated having this kind of volume,” said Bucher. “The Legislature and the Governor have been extremely aware that with the election equipment that we have, the potential of conducting all of these impossible. It is impossible. We’ve asked the secretary if there was any consideration to extend the deadline and he said no.”
The Florida Department of State said under state law, the Secretary has no authority to grant any sort of extension.
The recounts must be completed this by 3 p.m. on Thursday.
If any election department fails to meet the deadline, the unofficial counts turned into the state will stand.
Unofficial results showed Republican former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis ahead of Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by 0.41 percentage points in the governor’s contest. In the Senate race, Scott’s lead over Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson was 0.14 percentage points.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)