HC Wake-Up Call: Florida Senate Race Heads to Hand Recount, California Wildfires Claim 66 Lives & Trump Met With Legal Team for Mueller's Questions

Good morning, Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

Florida Senate Race Heads to a Hand Recount

The Florida Senate race is heading to a hand recount after a machine review of the initial vote still kept a narrow difference between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

While the recount will keep Nelson in the race for a few more days, it might be a little harder for the Democratic candidate to beat his opponent after the machine recount yielded a few more votes for Scott, leaving the Republican candidate with more than 12,600 votes over Nelson.

The Florida governor race, however, remained outside of the 0.25 percent legal threshold for a manual recount, meaning that former Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis will likely be Florida’s next governor over Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum.

The Senate race, however, remained within the 0.25 percent legal threshold, and is now headed to a hand recount of overvotes, where an individual votes for more candidates than allowed, and undervotes, where a voter chooses fewer candidates than allowed.

via Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

According to The Washington Post, the narrow margin appeared to be too much for Nelson to overcome, and Scott called for Nelson to bow out of the race. Nelson’s attorney, however, expressed confidence that the second recount, plus court cases, would give Nelson the needed boost to win the race.

“It’s never been our view that there was going to be one silver bullet that was going to change the margin in this race,” Marc Elias, Nelson’s lead recount attorney, told reporters, adding that they have “been seeking [the manual recount] all along.”

There has as of late been a stream of attacks by Trump, accusing the Democrats and election officials in heavily Democratic Broward County of fraud.

“An honest vote count is no longer possible — ballots massively infected,” Trump tweeted this week.

The scrutiny of the state’s elections system only worsened Thursday when some of the Florida’s largest counties failed to meet the 3:00 p.m. deadline on the recount, forcing the counties to stick with their pre-recount totals.

On Thursday, Nelson also appeared to gain a legal victory when U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker ruled that thousands of voters across the state have until Sunday to resolve issues with signatures on mail-in and provisional ballots to get their previously rejected ballots to count.

According to The Post,  the recount in Broward County will likely be closely watched. According to instructions from election officials, there will be 100 tables with two election workers, two campaign representatives and two party representatives at each table during the recount, and only election workers are permitted to handle the ballots.

The manual recount will take place over 11-hours on Friday and Saturday, and must be completed by noon Sunday.

California Wildfires Claim 66 Lives, With 631 Still Missing

As crews found another body in the remnants of a burned house on Wednesday, crews fear that there will be more deaths in the destructive fires that have ravaged the state and have now claimed 66 lives.

The Camp Fire in Northern California, which is now the deadliest and most destructive fire in state history, has killed 63 people, and seven more bodies were found on Thursday, official said.

Officials said there were more than 631 individuals still missing in the Northern California fire zone on Thursday night, but officials are trying to track down those individuals, ABC News reports. Butte County officials have asked residents to visit the sheriff’s website to check that they are not listed on the missing persons list.

Thom Porter, Chief of Strategic Planning for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), said that the death toll from the Camp Fire is expected to go higher as search crews inspect the nearly 12,000 structures that have been destroyed in the fire.

"It is by far the most deadly single fire in California history and it's going to get worse, unfortunately," Porter said of the Camp Fire.

Forty-seven of those that have been found dead have been identified, but due to the severity of the blaze, the remains of some of the missing may never be recovered, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told reporters.

California Gov. Jerry Brown, Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke toured the destruction of the Camp Fire on Wednesday, and visited with firefighters still battling the blaze, ABC News reports. During a news conference on Wednesday in Northern California, Long called the fire “one of the worst disasters I’ve ever seen in my career, hands down.”

Brown, who said the fire’s destruction “look[ed] like a war zone,” remarked that he had spoken with the president, “who pledged the full resources of the federal government” to assist in the recovery effort for the California wildfires.

As of Wednesday, the Camp Fire was 35 percent contained.

The Woolsey Fire in Southern California, which rapidly spread between Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, has destroyed over 500 structures and killed two, ABC News reports.

As of Wednesday night, the Woosley Fire was 52 percent contained, with Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said the Woolsey Fire calling the blaze the largest his department has had to combat in over 100 years.

The Hill Fire, which is burning near the Woolsey Fire in Southern California, was 94 percent contained as of Wednesday, according to Cal Fire.

Trump Met With His Legal Team to Discuss Answers to Mueller’s Questions

Over three days this week, President Donald Trump met with his legal team to discuss his written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller’s questions, a source told ABC News.

The special counsel’s questions centered around Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to sources. The year and a half long Russia investigation stems from allegations that Russia coordinated with the Trump campaign during the presidential election.

Sources said that the president was irritated by some of the questions asked by the special counsel, and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani shared those same sentiments with The Washington Post.

“There are some that create more issues for us legally than others,” Giuliani told The Post. He said some were “unnecessary,” some were “possible traps,” and “we might consider some as irrelevant.”

Nearly 32 individuals and three Russian businesses have been indicted by Mueller’s team on charges ranging from computer hacking to obstruction of justice, with six guilty pleas and three individuals being sentenced to prison.

What to look out for…

Today is National Fast Food Day! It’s time to head over to your favorite fast food restaurant and treat yo self.