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Developments in the Florida recount

©Associated Press

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 28, 2000


Developments in the Florida presidential election recount:

COURTS

Democrat Al Gore, seeking to overturn Florida's certification of Republican George W. Bush as the winner of the state's decisive 25 electoral votes, challenged the results from Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Nassau counties in state court Monday. His court filing said the certification totals "include illegal votes and do not include legal votes that were improperly rejected. The number of such votes is more than sufficient to place in doubt, indeed to change the result of the election."

The Bush campaign filed state lawsuits late Sunday in Hillsborough, Okaloosa, Orange, Pasco and Polk Counties, charging that their canvassing boards improperly rejected several overseas absentee ballots, including those that were not dated or postmarked. The lawsuits seek to force the counties to count the overseas ballots.

A lawsuit over Palm Beach County's "butterfly ballot" was sent to the state Supreme Court on Monday. Some Democrats complained the ballot was so confusing that they mistakenly cast votes for Pat Buchanan instead of Gore. They are seeking a new election in the county.

Both sides agreed Monday to move a Democratic lawsuit accusing Republicans of tampering with 4,700 absentee ballot applications in Seminole County, near Orlando, to circuit court in Tallahassee.

The Rev. Al Sharpton filed a federal lawsuit in Miami against Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, Florida's board of elections and Bush, saying the state certification before Miami-Dade County could complete a manual recount of ballots disenfranchised minority voters.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a Bush appeal Friday seeking to bar hand-counted ballots from being added to the final tally.

COUNTING

STATEWIDE: Harris certified the state's election results Sunday, declaring Bush the winner. She accepted new vote totals from 16 counties and rejected Palm Beach County's partial results. Bush leads Gore by 537 votes in the totals Harris certified.

Bush said the Florida certification "gives us the needed electoral votes to win the election" and the White House.

PALM BEACH COUNTY: As many as 1,000 ballots did not get reviewed before a deadline arrived, and county officials turned in recount results showing Gore with a gain of 180 votes. The county finished its count anyway, but has not released its final results. Gore's court brief said the entire manual count would have added 215 votes for him.

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