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Saturday Morning News
The Florida Vote: Recounts Proceed as Bush Team Prepares Legal ChallengesAired December 9, 2000 - 9:00 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: The highest court in Florida has spoken, but the final word of this presidential election may belong to the U.S. Supreme Court. The legal team for George W. Bush has filed emergency petitions asking the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the statewide recounts that are underway as we speak.
As many as 62 counties will sort through the so-called undervotes. That is ballots that did not register a presidential choice in the machine counts. That adds up to more than 43,000 ballots in play. The Bush lead, meanwhile, has been whittled down somewhat to 154 votes because of revised figures added by the court.
The emergency petition filed by the Bush legal team is asking that recounts be stopped immediately until the justices can hear an appeal the -- of the case. Bush's lawyers are questioning whether the Florida Supreme Court overstepped its authority in ordering that recount.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, federal court, could also stop the recounts. Lawyers for Bush and three Brevard County Republicans filed separate emergency petitions there. The Florida counties will be racing against a suggested deadline of 2:00 Eastern tomorrow afternoon. At least one county says it will likely not complete the task before Monday night.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: And we have CNN correspondents in place along the many fronts of this legal and political battle. CNN's Bill Hemmer remains at his post in Tallahassee, our Kate Snow is in the Bush stronghold of Jacksonville, and our Bob Franken is outside the U.S. Supreme Court where the election may be largely decided.
But let's begin with Bill in the Florida capital.
I understand that you might be searching for real estate, Bill.
BILL HEMMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And maybe a voter registration card, too, before this thing's all over.
Kyra, good morning once again to you.
A lot of tired eyes today in Tallahassee, but no more tired than the attorneys working on both sides. We do know the Gore team picked up about two, maybe three hours of sleep last night. The Bush team barely got one last night, still working on those briefs to be filed at Circuit Court here in Atlanta -- in -- excuse me -- Tallahassee and also Circuit Court up in Atlanta, and the ongoing battle also with the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington.
Again, the focus today is on that undervote. We believe, based on estimates, up to 45,000 ballots will be looked through that were considered undervotes back on November 7. Of those 45,000, about 38,000, a strong majority there, were done on these punch-card ballots right there.
This is going to be the focus throughout the day here, and what the judges will be looking for on these particular ballots here is an indication of voter intent for who they wanted to be their president, George Bush or Al Gore.
What's an undervote? Simply stated, it's either, A, when a voter goes to a poll and does not choose a candidate or, B, the machins, when these ballots are run through, do not read a particular vote for either candidate. That, in essence, is what they consider an undervote.
Now let's go out to Duval County, one of many counties today scrambling to get things done, and CNN's Kate Snow in Jacksonville for me there.
Kate, good morning to you.
KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Bill. Things just getting going here this morning. I can tell you that the county canvassing board was here until very late last night -- we were here along with them -- until about 11:00, 11:30 last night.
Now this morning, just a few moments from now, they're going to be starting a meeting here behind me at the table you see over my shoulder, and that's where the four members of the county canvassing board will sit. They are four Republicans in this county, and they have four because their city code allows for that. Most counties in Florida have three members on their county canvassing boards, but this county has four.
Now the -- what they'll be doing this morning -- they'll be hearing from Democrats and Republicans. They've allotted 15 minutes for both sides to talk with them about the procedures and the process, how should we start manually recounting these undervotes.
And let me tell you what the biggest problem is in Duval County. That is that they have nearly 300,000 votes that were cast in this county. All of them were put into storage. They were counted once again by a machine after the election, but, at that point, they were not separated.
In other words, they don't have their undervotes separated out from the bulk of all of the votes. So they've got 300,000 roughly ballots sitting in a vault near here at the City Hall Annex, and among those, are about 5,000, they estimate, undervotes. Those are the ones that they've got to count by hand. How do they figure out which of the 300,000 are those 5,000? Well, this morning, they're bringing in some machinery, some computer equipment from Miami-Dade County. It's being flown up here. We're literally waiting for a plane to land with a gentleman on board who works for the Miami-Dade County elections division. He's going to be able to show them how to use this equipment, and that equipment is to help them sort through all 300,000 ballots so that they can then separate out the 5,000 or so undervotes.
They expect to start the sorting sometime later this morning, if all goes as planned, and if there aren't too many objections here at this meeting, that's about to get underway. They'll sort them out.
Then they'll start counting presumably tomorrow morning. I'm told by the elections director here that they think that the counting process will take two days. So they may not have their results ready until Monday night -- Bill.
HEMMER: All right, Kate. Kate Snow in Duval County.
Again, only one thing that we're here to talk about today. Mark Potter has left Tallahassee. He's headed down to Tampa, Florida, now. That'sHillsborough County.
Mark Potter now joins us live from there to bring us up to date on what's happening in that part of the state.
Mark, good morning to you.
MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Bill.
We are, indeed, in Hillsborough County right outside Tampa at the elections processing center. They have about 5,500 undervotes to deal with, and they have just now begun the process of trying to figure out how to do that.
And let's get right to the elections supervisor, Pam Iorio.
Pam, you thought you were going to have a nice, quiet weekend, didn't you?
PAM IORIO, COUNTY ELECTION SUPERVISOR, HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY: Nothing about this race -- election has been predictable.
POTTER: Well, tell me what -- what you have to do first. You have to -- you have to pull the undervotes out of all the others, right?
POTTER: How are you going to do that? IORIO: We had 369,000 voted ballots on election night, and we actually have to run those votes through the vote-tabulation machines, and the software that we are in -- putting in this morning will stop each card that is an undervote so that we can actually physically pull that card out.
POTTER: That's a slow process. How long -- how long is that going to take?
IORIO: That will take all of today to do that because, again, you have several hundred thousand votes, and you have to stop with each -- each precinct and pull the undervotes out.
POTTER: And do -- after that, how do you begin the count and by what standards?
IORIO: Well, I think the issue of standards is very important, and we are looking at the Palm Beach standard that seemed to be acceptable to both parties. The one that said that if a chad is perforated by two chads that that is clear voter intent.
But it does -- does not preclude the canvassing board from looking at other ballots where there might be other factors. We are looking at that and will present that to the canvassing board for their approval.
I think it's also important that we communicate with all the other punch-card counties across the state to see if they will also be using that standard. I think consistency is very important.
POTTER: And how are you going to -- to perform the count physically? How many people are you going to have to bring in to do that?
IORIO: Well, we have a three-member canvassing board, and I think we will use some multiple teams. We have 5,500 approximately undervotes to count, and that is what you've been seeing over the past several weeks in Broward, Palm Beach, and that is holding up each punch card, determining voter intent, and -- and then recording it.
POTTER: Now what will be the role of the political parties? They'll be in here, right?
IORIO: Yes. Obviously, this is a very open process. We run our office in a very non-partisan fashion and always have. Both political parties will be allowed to have their observers present with the manual count. We're not going, though, to get into protests over individual ballots. The canvassing board will do their job. After the fact, if people want to lodge protests they can, but we have a job to do and a deadline.
POTTER: Very quick answer if I could.
POTTER: Can you meet that 2:00 p.m. -- that 2:00 p.m. deadline set by Judge Lewis?
POTTER: You think you can?
IORIO: Oh, yes.
POTTER: Are you going to go all night?
IORIO: We'll do whatever it takes. It's our job.
POTTER: Pam Iorio, thank you very much.
POTTER: This is a traditionally independent county, by the way. Of the 369,000 votes cast in this election, George W. Bush beat Al Gore by about 11,000 votes. In terms of percentages, that was 50 percent to 47 percent.
So we'll be here all day watching them begin this manual count.
Bill, back to you.
HEMMER: All right, Mark. Mark Potter. Thank you from Hillsborough County. Kate Snow in Duval County.
Now the day after the state Supreme Court issued its amazing decision from yesterday, a number of people say they were shocked and stunned by it on both sides of the political aisle.
Now what we can tell you right now is that yesterday we were told by Republican sources close to the court that they believed there was going to be a split decision, 4-3, in favor of holding Judge Sauls' ruling.
However, what happened was a 4-3 decision that reversed Judge Sauls, and it's now said by Democratic sources close to the court today that they believe it's quite possible that one member of the Supreme Court at the very last moment perhaps may have crossed over to the majority for this reason. The speculation right now is that once the justices decided to go statewide for a recount of the undercount votes, that's when they made that decision to go ahead with the majority.
It's possible through all the oral arguments from earlier this week with a number of questions about the Miami-Dade vote, that 9,000 undervote count, given the thought that the justices were giving all the attention toward that particular aspect of the arguments, that they believe it is possible that one justice crossed the line, indeed, and went with the majority once they were convinced that statewide recount would, indeed, take place for that undervote.
Now I mentioned the undervote. I understand CNN's Susan Candiotti now has more news now over at the public library here in Leon County. Hello, Susan.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Bill. Just before things were to get underway here, it was announced that there would be a change in procedure.
Originally, the judge who was overseeing the process, Judge Terry Lewis, decided that there would be 25 teams of county workers, two people per team, looking over each ballot. Those are the 9,000 so- called undervotes from Miami-Dade County.
Then it was decided, just as the process was to begin, that the eight judges who were on site here who were supposed to be officiating things decided among themselves that it would go faster and perhaps eliminate some of the uncertainty and some of the questions that have been raised by outside parties to do the counting themselves. So that's how it's going to work. There will be four tables.
Let's take a look inside and see what's happening now to see if this process has actually begun yet.
There will be four tables set up with two judges seated at each table, so...
Yes, indeed, they have sat down, but -- I'm trying to make out whether they're picking up ballots. I don't think so. It is more likely than they are not that they are still discussing how they're going to work things out.
But the procedure they decided upon according to David Lang, who is the clerk of courts here, is that the judges will pick up each ballot, take a look at it, and try to decide the voter's intent. By looking at the card in its entirety, by looking at it for dimples, by looking for hanging chads, and the like, and then decide whether they can determine if, indeed, there is a vote for vice Vice President Gore or for Governor Bush or they might reject the ballot altogether.
If there is a dispute, then that ballot will be set aside and, presumably, taking over -- taken over as was the original game plan -- over to Judge Lewis in his chambers to review those -- any contested or disputed ballots.
The judges believe, according to Mr. Lang, that they will be able to get through all 9,000 of these ballots this day. We'll see if that prediction rings true.
Also, within the last half-hour or hour or so, we had another person arrive on the scene, and that is -- David Leahy is the chairman of the Miami-Dade canvassing board, and he is here, he told me, at the request of Judge Lewis. After all, these are his ballots that they oversaw in Miami-Dade County, and Judge Lewis wanted to know if he would come on board and look over the procedures that are being followed here and review the standards as well and to offer any advice or opinions as any of these judges might have questions for David Leahy. So that is it from here. We'll see how long they go this day. I know that Judge Lewis is expecting a status report at about noontime today to see how things are going, and also the observers from both the Democratic and Republican Parties are also on sight.
This is being viewed as an open process. They will be able to watch what's going on, but Judge Lewis has made it clear that the observers will not be able to make any objections by voice and interfere with the process. They can only look and see what's going on and note any objections that they might have.
That's it from here, Bill. Back to you.
HEMMER: OK, Susan. Susan Candiotti. The Leon County Public Library, certainly a major focus throughout the morning and the day to day.
Now, yesterday, this was the headline in the local paper. It said, "Fourth and Long for Gore." I talked with Al Gore's chief legal adviser this morning, Ron Klain, about 5:00 in the morning. He was up early, just like all of us have been. He said, "Bill, it was fourth and long, and we have converted."
Indeed, the game continues here in Florida. Who wins this game, though, is still as open a question today as it was back on November 7th, 32 days ago.
Back with more shortly, but, for now, here's Atlanta and Kyra and Miles.
PHILLIPS: Thanks, Bill.
Well, now we're going to toss the football over to CNN's Charles Zewe. He's outside the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta with the latest on the legal attempts to halt the recounts.
CHARLES ZEWE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning from downtown Atlanta, Kyra, where we've just gotten a hold of the filings that the Bush lawyers placed with the court during the night asking for a rehearing in a case before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Last Wednesday, the 6th, the court voted 8 to 4 that Governor Bush and his lawyers had failed to prove that he would suffer irreparable harm if the tallies from the hand-recounted votes in Florida were included in the certified vote totals in the campaign, and that went on to certify him as the winner of the electoral votes in Florida. The court said that the governor and his lawyers simply had not proved that they would be harmed because they had, indeed, been certified as the winners.
Well, based on the Florida Supreme Court's ruling yesterday, the lawyers for Governor Bush have come back into court asking for an emergency rehearing now. Ted Olson saying in his brief to the court during the night last night and released this morning, "Simply put, there has been a sudden and dramatic change in the core factual assumptions underlying the court's opinion, and plaintiff's irreparable injury is more immediate and palpable than ever."
Bottom line, the Bush lawyers see this court as a bulwark, as a way to stop what is going on in Florida, and they're asking for that very thing to happen.
First, they're asking for a rehearing, that the court reconsider it, saying there's imminent danger now that they will be irreparably harmed and could lose the election by the counting of these hand- recounted votes, that they say are unjustified, illegal, and improperly examined by the canvassing boards.
There's a second action being considered by the 11th Circuit judges at this hour, and that's a motion by three Republicans from Brevard County who've asked for an emergency immediate injunction, that the court issue that injunction stopping all recounts in Florida because, again, they claim that they are illegal and unjustified, and they want the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the mater.
Right now, they're asking for this court to stop things until the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington makes up its mind on whether they will hear the case.
At least two of the 12 judges of this court are inside the building, right now along with the clerk's staff. They are going through almost 200 pages of filings and briefings. No word on when they will act. It is assumed, however, they will make some kind of decision on whether they will take this case today -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: All right. Charles Zewe, thank you for the latest from the 11th Circuit Court here in Atlanta -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: All right. To use a corporate analogy, we just heard from the branch office. Let's take it up to headquarters where we find CNN's Bob Franken at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bob, how much dialogue or interface right now would there be between the two courts? Would they be acting sort of unilaterally right now?
BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, one can -- the official answer is, yes, they would be acting unilaterally. Have they discovered telephones here? One can only assume. But, ultimately, this is going to get to the US.. Supreme Court, whatever the Circuit Court of Appeals does, for the reason you just mentioned. This is legal corporate headquarters.
At the same time, the Circuit Court of Appeals is plodding along. The Supreme Court justice, Anthony Kennedy, who is responsible for the area involved in Florida, is polling the justices to find if the justices also want to stop the recount in Florida and, in order to do that, they would basically have to acknowledge that there's a good possibility that the court arguments of the Bush campaign lawyers might prevail when it finally gets to the Florida Supreme Court. And those arguments fundamentally are that there have been violations of the U.S. Constitution, once again, by the Florida Supreme Court, violations of Article II, which leave matters up to he legislatures of the day, claim -- of the state, claim the Bush lawyers, and also violation of the 14th Amendment, the equal protection law, of the Constitution because there's a disparity in how Florida votes are being handle.
We'd heard these arguments many times. The Supreme Court justices are going to have to ultimately decide whether they want to get into this, and the stakes, of course, are the highest. If the U.S. Supreme Court decides that the Florida Supreme Court was wrong, stops the recount, it's inconceivable that anybody but Bush could be declared the winner, that the final result would have already been achieved. If the court here refuses to do that, it's an open question.
What happens next? In all probability, action will ultimately slip across the street here in Washington. That's where the capital is -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: CNN's Bob Franken given us the fill from the Supreme Court. Thank you very much, sir. We'll check in with you later.
PHILLIPS: All right. Well, we're still following all the developments in the courts and with the count.
O'BRIEN: Let's take a look -- let's step in on Duval County for just a moment. This is the canvassing board there. And, essentially, what you're witnessing here is the beginning of a procedural discussion on just how they're going to go about the process of winnowing out those undercounts out of some 200,000 ballots. There are 4,967 needles in a 291,000-strong haystack.
They are hearing from representatives of all parties concerned here as to how this will go. I don't know if we want to listen in right now. Do we?
Let's listen for a moment.
BEN KUHNE (D), ATTORNEY FOR DUVAL COUNTY: ... not one that is being reinvented. It's rather an application of what we think are some standard principles that have worked in some of the other counties.
RICK MULLANEY, DUVAL COUNTY CANVASSING BOARD: Can I ask you a question on that, this reinvention question, because I am concerned about it?
KUHNE: Yes, sir.
MULLANEY: What is somewhat being reinvented as far as I can see is this question of identifying, here in Duval County at least, approximately 5,000 ballots, not that were thrown out but that -- instead 5,000 ballots that were counted but no vote was registered in a particular race, president. KUHNE: Yes.
MULLANEY; What I'd like to know is -- and the only count I've seen that's even come close to addressing this, apparently, is Miami- Dade. Is there any other county in the State of Florida this year or any other year which has undertaken the task of trying to identify and cull out out of -- and here it's 291,000 ballots -- cull out undervotes?
KUHNE: By machine or...
KUHNE: ... by any purpose?
MULLANEY: By any method. Now -- but do you understand the...
KUHNE: I do understand the...
UNIDENTIFIED OBSERVER: Can you use microphones? It's awfully hard to hear back here.
MULLANEY: OK. Because I appreciate your comment about not reinventing something, but my concern is -- is that, quite, frankly, we are. In the history of the State of Florida, other than Miami-Dade -- and we've talked to that and we have, as you know, some software and hardware coming up here, and we're dealing a little bit as best we can with loo - some unknowns here.
In any other county, in the State of Florida, and at any time in the history of the State of Florida, other than what Miami-Dade with their co -- their hardware, has any county ever taken -- undertaken the task of separating out ballots that were counted but for which a vote wasn't registered in a particular case and, in this case, such as president, because that task is a task that I don't think has ever been addressed before, and that's our first order of business here, is to reliably and accurately determine which ballots constitute an undervote. So...
KUHNE: The short answer to your question is Miami-Dade did it by machine recently. You're aware of that. Volusia County, which uses a different system, in the Beckstrom case, separated out the challenged votes, not necessarily undervotes, but the challenged votes.
MULLANEY: Yeah, that's separate.
KUHNE: OK. The -- there is no other reported decision where the class of undervotes of a large magnitude has been separated out. The reported decisions have challenged votes being separated out.
KUHNE: And, in this particular situation, Broward County did not need to do a separation because they had insufficient time to count all of them. MULLANEY: Because I can tell you that's -- last night, as I slept on this, I was very worried, and the reason I was worried was because I think that, in Palm Beach County and in Broward County, they actually had an easier task in one sense than we have, because all they did, although there were more ballots cast, they held up a ballot, and they simply said, "Is this for Mr. Bush, Mr. Gore, some other party, or a no vote?"
They weren't determining whether a computer or machine had actually registered a vote. Their determination was simply was, "Was this a vote?" We are being asked as a threshold matter something very different. Hold up the ballot, if we did this manually. Did the computer -- did the machine register a vote on this. Well, it's not marked.
If you have a hanging chad, in Broward and Palm Beach, all they determined was is this a vote for Mr. Gore or a Bush? Here we're determinating did the computer register this at all. So what you're telling me is this reinvention question -- is that, in the history of the State of Florida, the only time that you're aware of that the -- this has ever been done is Miami-Dade a couple of weeks ago.
KUHNE: By machine. Absolutely.
KUHNE: And the Supreme Court, having acknowledged that that was the separation process that Miami-Dade County used and having focused on the quality of vote called undervote or votes that did not get recorded by machine -- the separation was not only acceptable, but the process used by Miami-Dade was the process that led to, I think, the 10,000 or 9,000 undervotes in Miami-Dade County, which the Supreme Court, agrees should counted.
MULLANEY: Where did they address in this opinion that -- that the separation was -- where did they address separation at all in here in the order?
KUHNE: The Supreme Court acknowledged the 9,000...
KUHNE: ... to 10,000 separated undervotes for Miami-Dade County as being the votes that have been counted. The evidence...
MULLANEY: Have not been counted.
KUHNE: That have not been counted.
MULLANEY: When I read this opinion, I didn't see any guidance for addressing the question that's on my mind. The...
KUHNE: And to assist you in that process, the evidence at the trial of which I was a trial team member included evidence that the machine -- the machine separated out the class of undervotes, which was in the nature of 9,000 to 10,750, that those undervotes were partially counted by the canvassing board up to the time that the Miami-Dade County Canvassing Board said, "We've run out of time," that...
MULLANEY: I understand.
KUHNE: ... that separate classification of undervotes and the method for getting to undervotes was the evidence presented at the trial level. The record to the Supreme Court reflected that that was the mechanism for segregated -- segregating the undervotes, not a hand count...
MULLANEY: I understand.
KUHNE: ... not any sort of other separation, but the mechanical machine separation. The Supreme Court in its decision -- and we've all read it -- makes clear that that category of undervotes is the valid category that is required to be counted because...
MULLANEY: I understand.
KUHNE: ... for one reason only, those votes have never been recorded as a vote, and no human being has ever decided this is a vote or is not a vote, and under the interpretation of the law that the Supreme Court held and, frankly, that is statutorily required, that decision is a human decision, a canvassing board decision.
UNIDENTIFIED CANVASSING BOARD MEMBER: You said something just now that -- that concerns me a little bit. That is you said that vote has never been counted as a vote. It's not necessarily a vote. It could be -- very well be a non-vote.
UNIDENTIFIED CANVASSING BOARD MEMBER: Correct?
KUHNE: Your -- sir, to the extent that I've misspoke, that vote has been determined by machine to not be a vote, and the Supreme Court and the election code says before you reject a ballot as a non-vote, a human being, a canvassing board or, in the preparatory sense, the counters need to determine if that's a vote. That's the process we're doing. So, to the extent the canvassing board is saying, "How do we separate?" the model for separation, which is not reinventing the wheel, is the model that's been looked at by the Florida Supreme Court, approved by the Florida Supreme Court.
MULLANEY: I disagree with you completely on that. I think what the court said -- they did not provide any guidance on the question of machines, computers, or technology on how these were separated. What they did say was that those undervotes needed to be counted, and -- not only in Miami-Dade but around the rest of the state.
The problem I'm having is that I view this in two stages. What the rest of the state has grappled with -- and which this canvassing board will also have to grapple with in stage two -- is the standards in the counting. And let me tell you something, there -- if there's orders in place to require us to do that, we're going to do that, and we can grapple with those issues.
I haven't gotten there yet. I'm on stage one, which is you said we're not reinventing the wheel, and then I think you've accurately told me that, other than Miami-Dade, in the history of the State of Florida, this has never been done before, and I wasn't in Miami-Dade to see how they did it.
I will tell you this. On a plane right now, we have the same hardware and software and technical people coming here because we feel that that is the only way to possibly address 291,000 ballots, and on stage one, my concern with accuracy and reliability is to separate out those approximately 5,000 ballots for which no vote was registered for president, and that's my concern, and that's a technical issue that I -- I appreciate guidance from both parties on, and that's where my focus is.
KUHNE: And to the extent that I can help clarify -- I do have one item of disagreement, but it's not -- it's not a substantial disagreement. The first occasion where a machine count separation was requested is in this particular election. That's not to say that separation has not occurred, and in the reported case of which we've cited many in our briefs to the various courts, separation of ballots takes place in virtually every election contest, a separation of ballots where certain ballots are challenged, and only those ballots are examined in the challenge, in the contest. That's traditional. It's normal.
MULLANEY: Not for undervotes, though.
KUHNE: For challenged ballots, and in this particular case...
MULLANEY: For undervotes?
KUHNE: Sir, for challenged ballots, and in this particular case, the challenge made was for undervotes not being counted.
MULLANEY: I understand, but you have to understand the technical difference here. It's easy to separate out ballots in a punch-card system where you're looking at the U.S. Senate, and you want to separate out just the U.S. Senate based on a punch hole. The undercount issue presents a different technical issue than what you're referring to because of the state -- what I call the threshold issue of identifying those ballots for which the machine did not register a vote for president. So all the examples that you're talking about that are standard in separating out ballots, how many of those have dealt with undervotes?
KUHNE: This is the occasion where undervotes has become the issue, so -- and Miami is the precedent for that...
KUHNE: ... and to the extent that your question defines the answer, and I think it does, the machine has said, "We're not recording certain ballots votes." Therefore, we need to identify what those ballots are that the machine is not recording as a vote. The model used by the Miami-Dade -- with their software, with their hardware, with their punch-card system, similar to this system, is that the machine will then give you that body of ballots, and that's all that's required. We think that's what was presumptively suggested by the Supreme Court, although the Supreme Court had two systems -- optical scan, which is a whole different separation process, than punch cards.
UNIDENTIFIED CANVASSING BOARD MEMBER: Can I ask -- I'll tell you that when we get -- if I may, I agree with -- with Rick in that this is unchartered territory, but I think once we get the software and the hardware and the gentleman, whoever it is, from Miami, you know, I think we can more, you know, try to identify how the -- what the solution's going to be. I'm not sure that -- I think -- I think he'll be a great help to us on that.
MULLANEY: I agree.
UNIDENTIFIED CANVASSING BOARD MEMBER: Yeah, don't -- let me ask you one question since you -- you were apparently involved in the Miami-Dade situation?
KUHNE: I certainly was, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED CANVASSING BOARD MEMBER: Wouldn't you agree that the number of undervotes that we have, 4,900-some-odd votes -- when these votes -- and we may have to wait until the software gets here to find out the answer exactly, but it would seem to me that when these ballots are run back through the machine for the software to identify the ones that need to be pulled out...
O'BRIEN: All right. As we listen in on Duval County, the canvassing board there, hearing from attorneys representing both campaigns, Democratic and Republican, in the left lower portion of your screen, the scene at the Leon County Public Library.
Some 9,000 disputed ballots, which were trucked up from the Miami-Dade County election polling facilities, are now in the room where the recounting process is set to begin, the judge having laid down a specific set of rules for that count.
It will probably be a little more streamlined than we are accustomed to, having watched what happened, for example, in Palm Beach County. Nevertheless, the deadline is aggressive, to say the least. The judge would like these recounts done in Leon County and Duval County and, for that matter, between 50 and 60 other counties by 2:00 p.m. tomorrow. To get a little sense of the ripple effects that are occurring today in Florida in the wake of that dramatic ruling by the Supreme Court.
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