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Big Bend counties work to meet state recount deadline

Big Bend counties work to meet state recount deadline
Big Bend counties work to meet state recount deadline
Posted at 4:20 PM, Nov 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-13 13:22:54-05

WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) - Election offices in the Big Bend have been busy re-counting ballots in order to meet the state's deadline of Thursday afternoon.

Several counties in our area started that process on Tuesday.  

The counting is over in Wakulla County but the process took about seven hours to complete. Officials and volunteers had to go through more than 14,000 ballots. 

They started at 8:00 a.m., feeding machines from all 12 precincts.

Supervisor of Elections Buddy Wells predicted they'd be done by 6:00 p.m. but counting wrapped up around 3:00 p.m.

Recounts are nothing new in Wakulla County. In fact, the ballots from the August primary had to be recounted for a circuit judge race.

Wells said it's all part of the process that makes America a democracy. 

"This gives us a chance to really look at everything. You know, my thing has always been I want people to vote. I don't care how you vote. Just go vote, because we the people are the only ones that can make the difference," said Wells. "So, you know, our job is to make sure that they have the opportunity to vote if they're eligible and that their ballot gets counted." 

Wells said there were just two ballots that were added to the total from Election Day.

The canvassing board determined voter intent for both ballots, which were duplicated and processed with the rest. 

Wells said he knows that a manual recount might be needed if any of the races are still too close to call.

He said he and his team will be ready to do this all over again. If that’s the case, it looks like that would happen Friday morning.

A smooth process not just in Wakulla, but in Gadsden County too.

Officials there started the recount Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and ended just after midnight.

We talked to a man who stayed through the whole thing. He said it was “totally transparent.” 

“It was a good process. It was an open process, and I think one can feel good that what happened in Gadsden County was accurately reflected what the voters indicated," said Howell Ferguson, Gadsden County Recount Witness. 

We reached out to the Supervisor of Elections in Gadsden to learn more about the recount, but we haven’t heard back.