November 15, 2018 / 10:18 PM / a month ago

Florida U.S. Senate race triggers hand recount

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Bill Nelson speaks in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 12, 2016 and Florida Governor Rick Scott appears in Washington, DC, U.S., September 29, 2017 respectively. REUTERS/Kevin Kolczynski and REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photos/File Photo

TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - Florida’s hotly contested contest for the U.S. Senate appeared headed on Thursday toward a hand recount with the results still too close to call, the state elections website indicated.

Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson trailed his Republican challenger, Florida Governor Rick Scott, by about 12,600 votes, or 0.15 percent of the more than 8 million ballots cast following an electronic recount. The razor-thin margin triggers a manual recount under state law.

Elections officials were expected to inspect by hand any ballots that were designated undervotes or overvotes, cases where the machine that reviewed the ballot concluded that a voter had skipped a contest or marked more than one selection.

If the voter’s intentions are clear on review by a person, the ballot could be counted.

Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Peter Cooney

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