Mack Bernard: The night is youngby Andrew Abramson | August 14th, 2012
RIVIERA BEACH — While Jeff Clemens has already been spotted on Twitter celebrating a victory, his State Senate opponent Mack Bernard says the race is not over.
Clemens is up on Bernard 50.65 to 49.35 percent with all 272 of the precincts counted. But there are still absentee and provisional ballots to be counted. Out of more than 23,000 votes, Clemens is up 304 votes.
Bernard is waiting in the county’s tabulation center in Riviera Beach as the canvassing board looks at remaining ballots. Several of Clemens’ consultants are also at the tabulation center, but Clemens is not expected to show up in person.
“There are a lot of absentees out there and a lot of provisional ballots. The night is young,” Bernard said. “All day we’ve been telling everyone that this race will be decided by 300 votes and it’s right down to that 300 vote margin.”
Bernard also said there are a number of Haitians voting for the first time who might have gone to the wrong precinct and had to fill out a provisional ballot.
Right now, Clemens is up by 0.7 percent. If the margin drops to 0.5 percent, there will be an automatic recount. Richard Giorgio, Bernard’s political consultant, said he believes the margin could drop low enough to force a recount.