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Vox Sentences: Eternal Recount of the Sunshine State

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Races in Arizona, Florida, and Georgia continue to have razor-thin margins as vote recounts continue; former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos is sentenced to decades in prison for corruption.

The recount must go on

Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/MCT via Getty Images
  • Control over the US Senate may have been decided after Tuesday’s election, but exact numbers are still to be determined; Arizona and Florida are deep into a vote recount for their respective races, as is Georgia for its tight governor’s match. [Vox]
  • In Arizona, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is ahead of Martha McSally by a mere 9,600 votes for the open Senate seat. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Arizona law states that the margin must be a 0.1 percent difference between the top two candidates to qualify for a recount (it’s currently at 0.5 percent). The process is further complicated by Arizona being heavily dependent on mail-in ballots, which may arrive up to Election Day and take a long time to verify. [Politico / James Arkin]
  • In Florida, the margins are even tighter. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is trailing Republican Rick Scott by 0.18 percent. Any race that’s narrower than a 0.5 percent lead qualifies for an automatic recount, where every vote cast will be retabulated. [NPR / Miles Parks and Emily Sullivan]
  • The Georgia governor’s race is trickier. The GOP’s Brian Kemp is leading Stacey Abrams by 63,000 votes, placing him slightly above the 50 percent line that declares a victor and doesn’t send the top two candidates to a runoff. However, Abrams, who’s vying to become the first black female governor in the US, has not conceded and insists all votes are counted. [NYT / Richard Fausset, Patricia Mazzei, and Alan Blinder]
  • Georgia has been at the forefront of controversy in the past month over alleged voter suppression by the Republican Party. Kemp, who resigned as Georgia’s secretary of state just yesterday, was in control of the voting process, and many groups accused him of putting the voter registrations of 53,000 people, many of them African-American, on hold. [AP / Ben Nadler]
  • President Trump condemned the recount processes in Georgia and Florida on Friday morning, announcing Kemp as a victor and saying “it’s time to move on.” He also suggested that election supervisors fabricated Democratic votes in Florida for Nelson. [Twitter / Donald J. Trump]
  • Florida’s recount process has also put a star progressive candidate back in the limelight; Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who conceded the governor’s race to Republican Ron DeSantis, now trails him by just 0.5 percent of the total votes. If Gillum wins a possible recount, a concession speech does not keep him out of the governor’s mansion. [NBC News / Ali Vitali]
  • Republicans are currently holding on to a thin majority in the Senate — 51 to 46. Victories in Arizona and Florida could give them an additional two seats, with the Mississippi runoff likely to go to the GOP. [NYT]

Imelda Marcos convicted in $200 million fraud case

  • A Filipino court sentenced Imelda Marcos, who was once the nation’s first lady, to a minimum of 42 years in prison for corruption offenses dating back decades. [WSJ / Jake Maxwell Watts]
  • Marcos was convicted on seven counts of violating an anti-corruption law for illegally funneling roughly $200 million to Swiss banks to hide her unexpected wealth. The activity, which happened in the 1970s, was during the time her husband, Ferdinand Marcos, held executive office. [AP / Jim Gomez]
  • Imelda Marcos did not appear in court for her sentencing, and a warrant was issued for her arrest. The fraud case comes just as she and her family have seen a political resurgence in the Philippines, having gained favor under the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte. [NYT / Jason Gutierrez]
  • But this is not the first time the Marcos family has been tied to illegal activity; before Ferdinand Marcos was ousted in 1986, the family was accused of stealing billions of dollars from the Filipino population. Imelda was infamous for her lavish spending as first lady. [CNN]


  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who on Tuesday became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, said she won’t move to Washington until her salary kicks in because she can’t afford the rent. [Vice News / Rex Santus]
  • After nearly two decades of Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show catwalks, Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima has announced she’s retiring. [Twitter / InStyle]
  • A total of 22 items owned by the late physicist Stephen Hawking sold for more than $2.33 million at auction. Items included a copy of his thesis, signed by Hawking, and an early wheelchair he used. [BBC]
  • It may have been more than 50 years since households across the world were introduced to color television, but a British broadcast license service reveals that 7,000 households in the UK are still watching television in black and white. [Guardian]


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