In Florida, if the unofficial returns show that a candidate for any office was defeated or eliminated by one-half of a percent or less of the votes cast for such office, a machine recount of all ballots cast is conducted. If the machine recounts indicates that a candidate was defeated by one-quarter of a percent or less of the votes cast for such office, a manual recount of the overvotes and undervotes cast is required. The Secretary of State is responsible for ordering recounts for federal, state, and multicounty races. The county canvassing board or the local board responsible for certifying the election is responsible for ordering recounts in all other races.
In Florida, a losing candidate or qualified voter can contest the results of any state or local election, except legislative elections, in circuit court within ten days of the election’s certification. Applicable grounds for contesting an election include official misconduct, candidate ineligibility, receipt of illegal votes or rejection of legal votes, or corrupt conduct “procuring the successful candidate’s nomination or election.” If the circuit court determines that the contestant is entitled to the office, the court may enter a judgment of ouster against the contestee that allows the contestant to assume office.