Provisional ballots are Chris Dorworth best, last hope

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With Representativ Chris Dorworth trailing by 37 votes to Democrat Mike Clelland in House District 29, the Seminole County elections canvassing board will meet Thursday to consider provisional ballots.

Mike Ertel, the county’s supervisor of elections, said in an email Wednesday morning that officials were working to determine how many provisional ballots were cast in District 29.

The canvassing board will meet at 2 p.m. Thursday to consider provisional ballots countywide before sending election results to the Florida Department of State.

It appears almost certain that an automatic recount will be ordered in District 29, regardless of how the provisional ballots turn out. State law requires such recounts when the margin of victory is less than one-half of 1 percent.

Dorworth, R-Lake Mary, has been slated to become House speaker in 2014. But Clelland, an attorney and retired firefighter from Lake Mary, overcame Dorworth’s massive fund-raising edge to lead after polls closed Tuesday.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.