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Politics & Government

The Races Still Up In The Air


All right. The last polls closed more than two days ago. But in some states, the midterm elections still seem far from over. In Florida, Governor Rick Scott is suing two counties that he says are taking too long to count ballots. Scott says he won the Senate race against the Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson. Here is Scott speaking at a press conference yesterday.


RICK SCOTT: The people of Florida deserve fairness and transparency, and the supervisors are failing to give it to us. Every Floridian should be concerned there may be rampant fraud happening in Palm Beach and Broward Counties.

MARTIN: Over in Arizona, a new leader is emerging in the Senate race. And in Georgia's race for governor, the ballots are still being counted. With us now in studio, NPR's Miles Parks has been looking at all these elections. Thanks for coming in, Miles.


MARTIN: Let's start in Florida, Rick Scott. We just heard that clip of tape there. He is claiming voter fraud is to blame for the recount. He is backed up by President Trump, who tweeted that law enforcement is looking into election fraud in that race. Is there any evidence to back up those claims?

PARKS: There is no indication at this point that there's any evidence to back up those claims. And it seems, Rachel, that we've been talking about voter fraud every couple of weeks or every couple of months since the 2016 election, when President Trump made those claims that millions of people voted illegally in that election, but there was no evidence then either. The president put together a committee - a commission to even look for evidence of voter fraud. That commission dissolved without finding any evidence.

MARTIN: So needless to say, though, this race is very close.

PARKS: It is incredibly close. And despite Rick Scott's claims about voter fraud, it does seem headed toward a recount, a mandatory recount. Bill Nelson's election attorney says he thinks Nelson is going to win in that recount because a lot of these votes that are still being counted, these vote-by-mail ballots and early voting ballots that haven't been counted yet, are in places that Democrats typically do very, very well.

MARTIN: And we should also just note the governor's race, which Republican Ron DeSantis appeared to have won, may also be headed to a recount as well, right?

PARKS: Yes, indeed. And that one's really interesting just because Democrat Andrew Gillum has already conceded in that race. He conceded Tuesday night. But as votes kept trickling in and trickling in over the last couple days, it put him over that half-a-percentage-point threshold that indicates a mandatory recount is coming.

MARTIN: Let's move to Georgia quickly. Stacey Abrams is the Democratic candidate running against the secretary of state, Brian Kemp. Tuesday, it looked like Kemp had won. It's not over, though. Here's Abrams' campaign manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo...


LAUREN GROH-WARGO: We need to see lists. We need to see names. We need to see counts of every single vote.

MARTIN: What's happening in Georgia?

PARKS: Right. So Secretary of State Brian Kemp is no longer secretary of state there. He has resigned his role, but he's still going on the offensive. He's taken a very similar strategy as Rick Scott in Florida. His communications director put out a statement yesterday saying, again without evidence, that Abrams is trying to, quote, "create new votes because they know it's their only remaining hope." The Abrams team is basically just saying, we want all the votes to be counted before we concede this election.

MARTIN: And the Abrams team all along has maintained that there was a conflict of interest by having the secretary of state, the man overseeing the elections, running in that same election.

PARKS: Yes, indeed. And he is no longer running it, but it was too late to actually put in any changes that they were hoping for.

MARTIN: And we should just note, the counting continues in Arizona, where the Democrat has taken the lead.

PARKS: Yes, indeed. The counting continues in a lot of states. It's not - also not uncommon for counting to be continued. But Kyrsten Sinema has taken a small lead there.

MARTIN: In that Senate race.

All right. NPR's Miles Parks. Thanks so much, Miles.

PARKS: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.