TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – The two candidates vying for the state’s Senate District 37 are most likely heading to a recount.

Democrat Jose Javier Rodriguez has held the seat since 2016. As of Thursday afternoon, he trailed Republican challenger Ileana Garcia by only 21 votes, according to the Associated Press. Rodriguez received 104,512 votes while Garcia garnered 104,533.

A machine recount is triggered if the vote difference is one-half of one percent (0.5%).

“We will read them through the tabulators again and attribute votes to either one of those candidates. If we find that there are areas where there are additional votes that may have been picked up through people circling a candidate or bubbling two candidates, so we will look at each and every one of those to see if there’s any way additional votes can be attributed to a candidate,” Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections.

A manual recount is triggered if the vote difference is one-quarter of one percent (0.25%).

“If the margin falls below .25 percent then we’ll actually go to a hand review of every ballot that again the machine has kicked out as an overvote. That means someone who has made two selections or no selection at all. We’ll be reviewing by hand to one candidate or another,” said White.

Garcia is a former Department of Homeland Security deputy press secretary in the Trump administration. She also founded Latinas for Trump. If she wins, it will boost the Republican majority in the Senate from 23-17 to 24-16.

Rodriguez claims an overnight gain of nearly 100 votes and says 400 votes by mail ballots are still to be reviewed.

Neither camp has conceded as signatures on the remaining vote-by-mail ballots have until 5 p.m. Thursday to be verified.

The county’s election department has not yet ordered a recount, White said she expects that to start next week and the deadline for finishing is next Thursday.

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