LIVE VIDEO: Live Newscast    Watch
 

Florida Election Results: Official presidential race outcome stays in limbo, despite Obama claiming victory

7:23 AM, Nov 9, 2012   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

MIAMI, Florida (News-Press) - Florida Democrats claimed a victory in the presidential race on Thursday even as election supervisors were still counting votes and the margin between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney remained tight.

The party issued a statement Thursday saying they had won Florida. The Associated Press has not declared a winner because the contest is too close to call.

Obama led Romney 49.9 percent to 49.2 percent, or by about 59,000 votes. Obama won the White House even though Florida is still undecided.

The Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee said they are waiting for the state to finish its count, which includes thousands of provisional ballots.

However, Romney Florida adviser Brett Doster told The Miami Herald in a statement that the campaign had lost Florida.

"We thought based on our polling and range of organization that we had done what we needed to win," Doster said. "Obviously, we didn't, and for that I and every other operative in Florida has a sick feeling that we left something on the table. I can assure you this won't happen again."

Florida is still undecided largely due to long voting lines on election night, a deluge of last-minute absentee ballots and other assorted problems.

Rod Smith, chairman of the Florida Democrats, attacked Florida Gov. Rick Scott - a Republican - for refusing to extend early voting hours, saying it was "a serious mistake that should and must be corrected."

The race results were so close that they could trigger a recount, bringing back memories of the 2000 election, though this time, the votes would hardly matter.

Under Florida law, the state's secretary of state could order a recount if Obama's lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney finished below a half-percentage point. A manual recount could be ordered if that recount ended below a quarter-percentage point.

Romney's campaign could waive the recount.

Secretary of state spokesman Chris Cate said it was unclear how much a recount would cost taxpayers.

Miami-Dade County suffered the bulk of glitches and long lines, with some voters waiting until 1:30 a.m. Wednesday to cast their ballot. The county's supervisor of elections, Penelope Townsley, said she was aware of the criticism of how her office handled the election.

"I think Miami-Dade County conducted a very good election," she said Thursday. "Am I embarrassed or disappointed by some of the things that happened? Absolutely. But, I have to focus on simply getting it right. And that is exactly what I will move to do."

Officials vowed to figure out why lines were so long; some speculated it was the length of the ballot (there were 12 statewide constitutional amendments) while others blamed the reduction of early voting days from 14 to eight by the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature.

The long lines prompted frustrated residents like Jorge Lopez-Bernal to call the state "a joke."

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez asserted: "this is not a third-world country."

"The waits were way too far," Gimenez said. "And we've got to get some answers as to what happened. Why? Why wasn't it foreseen?"

Gimenez said he would ask Gov. Rick Scott to extend early voting hours in future elections.

Scott didn't return calls Thursday about the voting problems from the AP. On Wednesday, he said he was willing to look at whether changes are needed to make voting go smoother.

Scott came under a barrage of criticism after he refused to use his emergency powers to extend the number of days of early voting.

Scott said he will sit down with state election officials soon to discuss ways to improve the election.

Another cause of the vote logjam was absentee ballots and the fact that voters had until 7 p.m. Tuesday to drop them off.

Officials in several counties said voters handed in the sealed envelopes containing the ballots shortly before polls closed Tuesday evening, and elections workers needed to verify the signatures and run the ballots through the voting machines. In Pinellas County, there were about 9,000 such ballots and it took most of the day Wednesday to process them.


You May Also Like...

Bikini Photos: 2012 Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant

Monkey off our backs: "Mystery Monkey" finally captured!

Sex Offender Search: Look up Florida Sex Offenders here

Yowtch! Teen accidentally shoots off his penis, testicle

Don't try this at home: Teen injured trying to jump over moving car

PHOTOS: NFL Cheerleaders

Cheerleader sex: Former Ben-Gal pleads guilty to sex with teen

Unwelcome house guests: Coyotes move into abandoned mansion

PHOTOS: George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin crime scene pics

Not a good idea: Woman rides on top of manatee

Yearbook mug shot: Teen who posed in racy yearbook photos busted for underage drinking

Bikinis, mud, trucks: The Redneck Yacht Club

Photos: Ex-Charlie Sheen Goddess Bree Olson

Naughty Schoolgirls: Naughty schoolgirl night at Tampa club pictures

Sting: 31 pimps and prostitutes arrested (with pics)

Outrageous mug shot galleries...

Strange: Some of the most unusual mug shots we've seen

Notorious Women: Bad girls behind bars

Teachers: Teacher arrest mugshots

Jaw droppers: Open mouth mug shots

Smilers: Happy mug shots

Laughers: What's so funny mug shots

Prostitutes: Prostitute mug shots

Athletes: Professional athlete mug shots 

Porn arrests: Child porn arrest mug shots 

Local Mugs: Hillsborough County Mug shots

More unusual mug shots and galleries: 10 News slideshows and galleries

Most Watched Videos