The state Senate Race between Democrat Janet Cruz and Republican incumbent Dana Young will now go to a manual recount. Results submitted by the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections shows Cruz had a lead of 376 votes over Young.
State law says that if candidates are separated by less than 0.25% after the machine recount, some questionable ballots will have to be recounted by hand. Cruz leads Young by just 0.18%. The two are vying to represent South Tampa voters is in District 18.
Cruz declared victory on Nov. 7, despite the looming automatic recount. Tim Wagner, Cruz's campaign manager, said last week that he was confident Young would not find hundreds of voted in the recount.
"Based off of that lead and conversations we've had with the supervisor of elections, we feel comfortable in that lead and that it would be very difficult for our opponent," Wagner said.
Hillsborough County conducted an automatic recount, which dropped Cruz's lead to 357 votes.
However, the county canvassing board decided against submitting those results to the state because there were 846 fewer votes than originally counted. Even though that's a difference of less than 0.16% - and even though percentage differences between the candidates were virtually unchanged - the board decided to not submit those returns, and instead go back to the first set of unofficial returns.
The deadline for the manual recount is 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18.