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Question of recount, like Seminole council race, is up in the air

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

While most eyes were watching Florida’s close presidential race, the City of Seminole had its own nail-biter in the race for City Council.

By the end of the night, incumbent Thom Barnhorn was leading with 4,544 votes, or 34.66 percent of the total 13,111 votes. Incumbent Jim Quinn was in second place with 4,299 votes, or 32.79 percent, and challenger Tom Christy was in third place with 4,268 votes, or 32.55 percent.

The close race between Quinn and Christy — with only 0.24 percentage points separating them, a mere 31 votes — would seem to trigger an automatic recount. Florida law requires an automatic recount by machine if the margin of victory is 0.5 percent or less.

But the real margin of victory won’t be known until all ballots are counted. There are still 745 provisional ballots countywide that haven’t been counted, said Jason Latimer, spokesman for the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections. It’s unclear how many of those ballots are from Seminole and if there are enough to pull Quinn further ahead of Christy to avoid a recount.

If there are enough provisional ballots to possibly affect the outcome, they’ll be counted Friday. That’s when the need for a recount will be decided. If there aren’t enough provisional ballots to possibly affect the outcome, then a decision about a recount could be made late Wednesday.

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