Recall needed in Jacksonville Beach mayor's race

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With all but the last provisional ballots counted in Duval County, the only race that is still in doubt is race for mayor of Jacksonville Beach.

"That is the closest (race) with 41 votes and will require a recount, but right now none of the other races appear to be affected by anything we do at this point," Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said.

The recount will be held Tuesday.

The other close race -- for clerk of circuit court -- has Republican Ronnie Fussell finishing with 48 percent of the vote in the four-way race, nearly 2 percentage points ahead Democrat Brenda Priestly Jackson in the four-way race.

"The reality is that last vote counted is just as important as the first vote," Holland said on the fourth day of vote counting "Many people call elections, but we certify it when we count every vote that has been cast."

Counties must provide a preliminary report of election results to the state on Saturday.

Vote counting continued Friday in many other counties around the state, but Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner says that while some local and perhaps a Central Florida congressional race may require recounts, the presidential race will not.


The delay in calling winners -- particularly in the presidential race, where Florida remains the only state in the union left to declare a winner -- is blamed on many factors: lines created by the length of the ballot, tens of thousands of absentee votes turned in just before the polls closed Tuesday, and the laborious process of reviewing provisional ballots.

"We are going to take input from citizens. We are going to listen to party officials. We are going to determine what the best resolution is to eliminating lines," Detzner said.

Barack Obama already has been declared the overall winner of the presidential election, based on results in the rest of the country. With Florida's 29 electoral votes still undecided, Obama has won 303 electoral votes to 206 for Republican Mitt Romney.

At last report Friday afternoon, Obama led Mitt Romney by 60,767 votes -- 0.7 percent -- out of the 8.3 million ballots cast in Florida.  State law requires a recount of any race with a margin of victory under 0.5 percent.