Mr. Scott’s campaign has dismissed the possibility that Mr. Scott, who won his two races for governor by one percentage point, could lose his lead now. In a statement on Thursday, his team called Mr. Elias “a hired gun from Washington, D.C., who will try to win an election for Nelson that Nelson has already lost,” and added, “Let’s be clear: When Elias says ‘win,’ he means ‘steal.’”
The pace of counting is a particular concern in Broward County. The county elections supervisor, Brenda Snipes, told reporters on Thursday that she could not say how many votes were left to count, only that all mailed-in ballots had been taken out of their envelopes.
“I think we had over 58 percent of our voters voted, and each voter received a ballot package of either five or six pages,” she said when asked about why counting was taking so long. “It’s volume that causes this.”
The uncertainty was beginning to get to Jennifer Dupoux, a salon owner in the Broward County city of Tamarac. “We are three days out, and we still don’t know who is going to lead Florida,” Ms. Dupoux said. “I have been voting here since I was 18, and I don’t know what to think. This has been so stressful. I can’t even look at the news because it’s so upsetting.”
A statewide machine recount in Florida would have to be completed by 3 p.m. on Nov. 15, Mr. Elias said. If that process yields a margin of less than 0.25 percentage points in any federal or state races, manual recounts would then be conducted for what are known as undervotes and overvotes — ballots where optical scanning machines picked up no selection, or too many, for the race. Those recounts would have to be completed by Nov. 18.
Florida voters fill in paper ballots by hand using a pen, and no longer cast the punch-card ballots that produced the infamous “hanging chads” in the 2000 presidential election.
State Democrats dispatched lawyers to county canvassing boards and sent volunteers to campaign offices to track the counting of provisional ballots. And Mr. Gillum addressed supporters on Facebook on Thursday afternoon.