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Saturday

Broward County Recount Nears Completion

Aired November 25, 2000 - 4:03 p.m. ET

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

ANDRIA HALL, CNN ANCHOR: There may be a little rest for the weary soon in Broward County. Officials there are expected to finish hand counting ballots any time now.

CNN's John Zarrella is in Broward County standing by with the latest facts and figures, and he joins us now.

Hi, John.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Andria.

Well, we certainly hope and everybody does that they will wrap up the process at least in Broward County later today. Right now, the canvassing board, led by Judge Robert Lee, the chairman of the canvassing board in the blue shirt in the middle there. The other side of the table, they are going over absentee ballots, and we believe that may be the end of the process once they wrap up these absentee ballots.

They took a break about an hour ago, took another short break a few minutes ago. So it appears that they believe now time is on their side. They've got time to at least stretch their legs every hour or so as they come down to the finish line here in this massive, massive recount effort by hand that they've conducted here the last week plus.

Now, of course outside is anything but calm here. Over to my right, you can see about 30 pro-Gore-Lieberman protesters out here with bull horns and banging on drums and just not a very, very big, big crowd. They've been here all day today. They continue here. They were here yesterday as well.

But if you swing over here to my left, you can see a really, really massive crowd and those are the Bush-Cheney supporters. Very well organized. They continue to come in and gather more and more of them all the time. And their signs are out everywhere. They are in full force here. And I don't expect that we will see them go anywhere any time soon. They will probably be here well to the point where we finish up here later in the day. Hopefully by dark they may be wrapping up.

Now, we had a chance a little white ago to kind of get a feel from both sides of where they stand. .

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Young voters are completely apathetic about the politics right now because of Gore's tactics and everything he's done and we're tired of it and we're not taking it any more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZARRELLA: Now at least here there has been no problems. They -- the police you can tell, there are Broward Sheriff's Office deputies on both sides. They're keeping the crowds well apart. There have been no problems. A couple of people have been escorted out by police.

But there have been no confrontations and for, you know, the most part Andria, everybody has remained pretty calm here and that's the testament to the people and to the police officers who are keeping track of things and control of things here -- Andria.

HALL: John, did you talk to anybody from the pro-Gore side? It seems like the Bush-Cheney protesters are much more vocal.

ZARRELLA: Well, what they're saying, of course, on the Gore side, the people there, is that the Republican demonstration is orchestrated. It's organized. They've been bringing people in from all over, but when we go over to the Republican side, they say to us, hey, look. Let me show you my driver's license. I'm from Broward County. We heard about it by just driving by so we stopped. Or we've seen it on CNN so we came over here.

So they're disputing the fact that a lot of them have been bused in or brought in from other parts of the state or even out of the state. But clearly, it is well organized and there are hundreds of Republican demonstrators as to about 30 Democratic demonstrators that I counted just a few minutes ago before I went on the air -- Andria.

HALL: As to who's organizing it, that's another question. John Zarrella live from Broward County. Thank you, John.

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