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Breaking News

The Florida Recount: Gore Campaign to Contest Miami-Dade Vote Certification

Aired November 24, 2000 - 4:39 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: There's been a development in the continuing story involving the Florida recount.

Let's bring in Kate Snow. She's in the Florida capital of Tallahassee.

Kate, tell us what's going on.

KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the latest development here, the Gore campaign and attorneys for Vice President Al Gore say that they fully expect to file a contest of the results tallied in Miami- Dade County.

You'll recall that earlier this afternoon, the state supreme court here in Florida delivered a blow to the Gore campaign when it said that it would not grant a -- it would not grant the petition of the Gore campaign to make Miami-Dade begin its recount again. It would not force or compel Miami-Dade county to continue counting.

So the Gore campaign responding to that now, saying that they expect to file a contest of the Miami-Dade County results once they are certified by the county. And it's important to note that because this is not the state certification that we expect on Sunday. But once the county certifies the votes, then the Gore campaign could go ahead and file this official contesting of those numbers, of those votes.

Now, a spokesman for the Gore campaign says they're not actually sure today on Thanksgiving whether Miami-Dade County has officially, quote-unquote, "certified" its votes yet. They're trying to figure that out. If indeed they have certified them, they may be able to file this contest rather quickly. They say they expect to do it sometime before Monday.

Also, one other note, Wolf. They say that they will look at the result from all of the other counties in this state, and that they may, on Sunday night, Monday morning, decide to contest in other counties as well -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Well, Kate, what specifically do the lawyers for Al Gore tell you that means if they're going to contest the certified results in Miami-Dade County after they're certified, assuming that they'll be certified by the 5:00 p.m. deadline that was imposed by the Florida Supreme Court on Sunday? Specifically, what legal recourse do they have to contest that certified result after Sunday?

SNOW: Well, under state law they have the ability to contest results. There's a very clear state code here that outlines a procedure for contesting. And you'll recall that earlier this week when the Florida Supreme Court was considering what to do and whether to allow the recount and how long the deadline -- what the deadline should be if they did allow recounts, they were considering the fact that they fully expected that both the Gore team and the Bush team would contest results in various counties potentially.

So this is a legal process. It was quite expected, quite anticipated. But, again, it's very much a reaction to what happened at the state supreme court today. The state supreme court, in saying that they would not grant the petition of Al Gore, did say that they would not allow any rehearing on this particular petition for a writ of mandamus. But they suggested that the contest procedure is still out there, that that's the legal vehicle, the next step for the Gore campaign or the Bush campaign if they don't like the tallies that come out of these various counties.

BLITZER: Kate, one final question, very briefly: Should we be reading more into this than perhaps this question will suggest? Does it mean that the Gore people now believe they won't have enough votes out of Broward and Palm Beach County, that what is essential is to get a recount in Miami-Dade?

SNOW: That's a very good question, Wolf. It was asked. We were on this conference call with some of the attorneys for the Gore campaign and that question was asked, and they actually said, no, attorney Ron Klain saying, Broward and Palm Beach County, quote, "will get us over the top."

So, they do not think that they need the Miami -- they say that they don't need the Miami-Dade County numbers, but they say that they don't agree with the process that's been pursued there and that they want to contest it.

BLITZER: All right, Kate Snow reporting from Tallahassee, thank you very much, reporting that the Gore campaign will contest the certified results in Miami-Dade County.

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