Over 10,000 so-called "over-under" ballots have been identified by the Miami-Dade Elections Department in the course of a recount for three state races ordered by the state of Florida, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said on Tuesday.
"Over-under" ballots are those where someone either filled in two or more blanks, or left the question blank entirely. If a manual recount is ordered by the state after the machine recount that is currently under way, those ballots will be reviewed and possibly tabulated.
"There’s about 10,000 over under votes in the Senate race, there may be about 12,000 over under votes in the Governor’s race, and I think there’s around 31,000 in the agriculture race," said Gimenez, citing preliminary numbers.
The ballots would be scrutinized by a county Canvassing Board, with the input of representatives for each candidate running for office, as well as members of the Democratic and Republican parties.
The Senate and Agriculture Commissioner races are currently within that 0.25 percentage points margin that would trigger a manual recount, where the "over-under" ballots would be scrutinized, according to preliminary return results and not accounting for machine recount numbers, which are still being processed.
Republican Governor Rick Scott currently leads incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson in the US Senate race by about 12,000 votes; Democrat Nikki Fried is currently leading Republican Matt Caldwell by about 5,000 votes. Both Scott and Fried have already declared victory.
"That's not something that is unexpected, as you go further down the ballot, more and more people drop off," said Gimenez, referring to the Agriculture Commissioner race.
It's unclear if the outcomes of any of the three state races could be changed by the "over-under" ballots.
Correction: This story previously said that Nelson had declared victory. In fact, Scott has declared victory in the US Senate race.