Obama Has Won Florida, NBC News Declares

Florida's 67 counties had until noon Saturday to finish their counts and report them to the secretary of state.

NBC News on Saturday reported that President Barack Obama has won Florida, topping Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the final electoral vote tally 332 to 206.

The Florida Secretary of State's Office said that with almost 100 percent of the vote counted, Obama led Romney 50 percent to 49.1 percent, a difference of about 74,000 votes. That was over the half-percent margin where a computer recount would have been automatically ordered unless Romney had waived it, NBC News reported. 

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Obama had already clinched re-election, leading earlier in the Electoral College vote 303 to 206.

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A win in Florida gives Obama victories in eight of the nine swing states, losing only North Carolina. He won Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Virginia, Colorado and Nevada.

Gov. Rick Scott released a statement Saturday about the election, in which he said around 8.5 million Floridians cast a ballot. He also said a record of nearly 4.8 million Floridians voted early or through absentee ballots.

"We are glad that so many voters made their voices heard in this election, but as we go forward we must see improvements in our election process," he said.

Scott added that he has asked Secretary of State Ken Detzner to review the election and report on ways to improve the process.

"We need to make improvements for Florida voters and it is important to look at processes on the state and the county level," Scott said. "We will carefully review suggestions for bettering the voting process in our state."

Meanwhile in South Florida, Broward County's Canvassing Board on Saturday reviewed ballots at the Supervisor of Elections' Lauderhill warehouse. Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes told NBC 6 South Florida that the process has been efficient.

"I think we're making pretty good progress," she said. "It's pretty much in line with what we've been doing in any election like this."

Snipes said that challenges such as long lines and staffing concerns come with the large territory.

"Those of us in the elections business, especially those of us who have over a million voters, recognize that it's better to move slowly and have information accurate than it is just to throw caution to the wind and say, 'We're done, see ya,'" she said.

Saturday's deadline was an "unofficial return," which will be followed by an interim period for "additional time to be able to accurately work on any types of votes that might need to be reviewed or calculated," Snipes said.

Broward County has a batch of ballots that were placed in a bag on Election Day due to malfunctioning scanners. When all votes are in, the state will certify the results later this month.

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Copyright AP - Associated Press
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