Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner ordered the state’s 67 county elections offices to start hand-counting ballots Thursday in the close race between Democratic candidate Nicole “Nikki” Fried and Republican candidate Matt Caldwell for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
After the results of the machine recount came in, the Fried campaign declared victory — but that won’t be official unless she wins the manual recount, which starts immediately.
Fried is leading Caldwell by 5,307 votes — only .06 percent. A total of 8,054,639 people cast votes in the Commissioner of Agriculture race.
The state requires a manual recount if there’s less than .25 percent difference between the votes for the top candidates in a race. The Secretary of State orders the manual recount, and local elections officials carry it out.
The results of the manual recount are due by noon Sunday.