Highlights of Florida's day
By Compiled by Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 23, 2000
BUSH APPEALS: George W. Bush authorized a U.S. Supreme Court appeal asking to shut down all Florida legal challenges on grounds the rights of Bush voters have been violated.
Central to the complaint is Tuesday's unanimous Florida Supreme Court ruling that "the will of the people, not a hyper-technical reliance upon statutory provisions, should be our guiding principle." The ruling noted the state legislature had passed conflicting laws governing hand recounts.
Bush denounced the Florida Supreme Court decision, saying, "Make no mistake: The court rewrote the law; it changed the rules, and it did so after the election was over."
Separately, Bush went back into Florida state court to ask that 13 counties with big military populations recount overseas absentee ballots discounted for postmark problems.
CHENEY HEART ATTACK: Bush running mate Dick Cheney had a stent inserted in his heart to clean out a narrowed artery after he experienced a mild heart attack. Doctors said he's in good condition and expect him to remain hospitalized in Washington for 48 to 72 hours. Cheney has had three heart attacks, the last in 1988, and underwent earlier bypass surgery.
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY: The canvassing board voted unanimously to suspend the county's hand recount, reversing course from earlier in the day when the board only planned to review 10,750 disputed ballots. Previously, with 135 of 614 precincts recounted, Gore had gained 157 votes. But the county no longer plans to ask the state to include that figure in its final returns. The Gore campaign asked a state appeals court to make Miami-Dade complete a manual recount, but the appeal was denied. A Democratic spokeswoman said the campaign would next appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.
BROWARD COUNTY: With all 609 precincts recounted, plus 49,718 absentee ballots, Gore gained 137 votes. The three-member canvassing commission will reconvene at 9 a.m today to continue going through as many as 2,000 questionable ballots.
PALM BEACH COUNTY: With 217 of 531 precincts recounted, Bush gained 14 votes. Circuit Judge Jorge Labarga ordered that ballots with dimpled chads be included in the hand recount of all 462,350 ballots in the county. County spokeswoman Denise Cote said 10,000 questionable ballots remained to be reviewed by the board.
A Bush appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court would go to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who oversees cases from Florida, Georgia and Alabama. He doesn't have to check with the eight other justices but probably would in a case of this magnitude. Asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take your case doesn't mean it will get heard, and the justices have repeatedly left it to states and state courts to handle elections mechanics.
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