(Updated: Nov. 8, 1:18 p.m.)
It’s day two following President Obama’s 2012 re-election, but one state, Florida, is still counting ballots. Infamous for voting issues since the 2000 recount, the Sunshine State has once again landed in the post-election headlines, although this time it won’t impact who takes the chair in the Oval Office.
Three counties in Florida continued to count absentee ballot results Thursday afternoon, according to the Florida Department of State. Broward, Duval, and Palm Beach counties remained outstanding from among a list of nine counties that initially continued to count ballots after Tuesday. It could be days before those results officially roll in.
With 97% of the precincts reporting, the NBC Decision Desk had not declared a presidential winner in Florida, but unofficial results showed the president with a slim lead of 50% to Mitt Romney’s 49%. Only 47,016 votes separate the two men.
The closest spread among the remaining counties, according to NBC News, is in Duval County where Romney is ahead by three points.
Under Florida rules those counties have until noon on Saturday, Nov. 10 to submit results.
Officials point to the Florida’s complex 10-page ballot as a cause in delay – not to mention the source of dauntingly long lines at polling places on Election Day.
Miami-Dade County finished counting its remaining 500 absentee ballots around noon Thursday. County Supervisor Penelope Townsley had told NBC:
“This is simply a matter of sheer volume, we’re dealing with a tremendous amount of paper,” Townsley said Thursday. “We have done everything we could possibly do to prepare, again, it’s the volume and we’re managing it very effectively. We will not rush this process, we will make sure that every vote is counted.”
If the final Nov. 10 results are within a 0.5% margin of the victory or less, Florida could be plunged into a recount unless the losing candidate intervenes to call off the count.
However, with or without Florida’s 29 electoral votes, President Obama remains the president. He collected 303 electoral votes to Mitt Romney’s 206, well above the 270 needed to win the presidency.