MIAMI, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Former Attorney General Janet Reno's gains on Tampa attorney Bill McBride in the Florida Democratic primary for governor appeared to be falling short of what she needed for victory Monday, and her campaign said it would not seek a recount if she loses.
McBride declared himself the victor after unofficial vote tallies were released last week. If he holds on to his lead when the certified results are announced Tuesday, he will face incumbent Republican Jeb Bush in the Nov. 5 general election.
By Sunday night, the Reno campaign said she had gained 2,511 votes, cutting McBride's lead to 5,685. Elections officials would not confirm those figures Monday afternoon.
"We don't have any official numbers yet. No numbers have been released by our office, and they will not be until tomorrow when the canvassing board makes its final certification," said Gisela Salas of the Miami-Dade elections office.
Campaign officials were more willing to speculate.
"It's almost certain that Bill will wind up with more votes than Janet Reno," said Alan Stonecipher, a spokesman for McBride. "We hope closure comes Tuesday."
Reno's camp said even if there were only a one-vote margin, there would be no court fight if she loses.
"We're going to do what is best for the state of Florida, the Democratic votes of Florida and the targeted goal of beating Jeb Bush," said Reno campaign lawyer Jim Greer. "We're not going to give Bush a free ride while the Democrats spend weeks, if not months, fighting in court."
Miami-Dade County, which will make its certified report of the vote-count to the state Tuesday, continued to examine the 265 iVotronic machines that were not closed properly -- or in some cases not closed at all -- at the end of the voting.
The problem was that some of those machines might not have been used at all in the election.
"They don't expect there to be many more," Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas.
The county bought 7,200 of the touch-screen devices for $24.5 million in the wake of the five-week, vote-count fiasco in 2000. President Bush won the state by 537 votes over former Democratic Vice President Al Gore.
But during the Democratic primary Tuesday, several precincts opened late, some as late as four hours, and voting had to be extended from the normal closing time of 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.
Penelas visited the warehouse where the count is being re-examined Tuesday.
"I came to see what was happening and to see what assistance we can give downtown. My goal is to get every vote counted by Tuesday and make sure this doesn't happen again," Penelas said.
"If elections don't go off as they should in November, a lot of heads will roll. I've made that very clear to everyone involved," he said.
In Broward County just to the north, workers were still double-checking results. The canvassing board meets Tuesday.
Broward received its new machines in January and Miami-Dade in June and the prevailing theory is beginning to blame insufficient training rather than the machines themselves. Officials said there was much less hands-on training of poll workers in south Florida than elsewhere.
"As this evolves, perhaps we didn't have as much of a malfunction problem as a training problem," said Secretary of State Jim Smith, Florida's chief elections officer.