The Latest: Counties hit deadline for reporting vote count

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The Latest: Counties hit deadline for reporting vote count
A volunteer looks over ballots during the hand count at the Broward County Supervisor of Elections office in Lauderhill, Fla., on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Noon

Florida counties have hit the deadline for submitting official results in this year’s contentious midterm elections.

Counties had until noon on Sunday to finish up recounts and turn final totals in closely watched races for U.S. Senate and governor.

State election officials were expected to announce the totals later Sunday, and will officially certify the results on Tuesday.

The deadline comes a day after Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded the governor’s race to Republican Ron DeSantis. Previous totals showed Gillum trailing DeSantis by more than 30,000 votes.

Counties were legally required to do a machine recount after the initial results showed the race for governor and U.S. Senate very close. State officials then ordered a hand recount earlier in the week

8:07 a.m.

Andrew Gillum, who tried to energize Florida’s young and minority voters through a Democratic coalition seeking to end two decades of Republican control of the governor’s office, ended his hard-fought campaign Saturday as the state’s first black nominee for the post.

Gillum, whose refrain had been “bring it home” as he recounted stories of growing up poor in the state, concluded his campaign with a Facebook video he recorded alongside his wife in a park.

In his four-minute plus video, Gillum congratulated Republican Ron DeSantis and also vowed to remain politically active even though his term as mayor of the Florida capital of Tallahassee ends next week. Of his future plans, Gillum said: “stay tuned.”

Gillum, just 39 years old, earned national attention and financial backing from well-known liberal billionaires with his first bid for statewide office. He ran on a liberal platform that included expanding Medicaid and raising taxes to spend more on education even though both ideas would have been hard to pass through the GOP-controlled Legislature.