Tags: Palm | Beach | County | Resumes | Recount

Palm Beach County Resumes Recount

Thursday, 16 November 2000 12:00 AM

But the court did not rule on whether the secretary of state would have to certify that new count.

"They have given us that authority, so we intend on proceeding until such time as the recount is concluded," said Judge Charles Burton, chairman of Palm Beach County's canvassing board.

The state's high court ruled in a case filed by two Republican-minority southeast Florida counties, Palm Beach and Broward, that asked the court to settle whether and how the counts should continue.

"We are obviously gratified by the unanimous ruling of the Florida Supreme Court," said Gore campaign chairman William Daley.

"The Supreme Court's clear and unambiguous ruling, that the counties are authorized to proceed with the manual recount, is a victory for everyone who wants to see the votes counted fully and fairly here in Florida."

James Baker, an observer for the Bush campaign, said the Democrats were overstating the court's decision.

"A one-paragraph interim order of the Florida Supreme Court has just been portrayed to you by my good friend Secretary Daley as the biggest thing since night baseball," he said, adding that the order only reinforced the status quo, with two counties recounting ballots and the secretary of state still refusing to consider the amended totals.

The Palm Beach recount was expected to take six days. Broward has been recounting votes since Wednesday, CNN reported.

The court's interim, or preliminary, ruling means it did not rule out further legal challenges to the recounts.

Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris told the Supreme Court Thursday that she, not the high court, had the authority to make decisions on allowing hand counts.

It remains unclear what effect new vote tallies might have on the presidential election because the court's order did not say that Harris must consider the new recounts.

Harris has said she will not accept hand recount results when she certifies final totals Saturday. She said only absentee ballots from overseas, due in by midnight Friday, would be added.

In other developments, CNN reported:

Four counties had petitioned for permission to update their vote totals. The other two are Miami-Dade and Collier.

Republicans say that conducting recounts only in certain counties gives Gore an unfair advantage and violates equal protection provisions under the 14th Amendment. Democrats say that the matter is being handled under Florida law, and that for the federal court to intervene would violate the 10th Amendment's federal-state separation of powers.

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But the court did not rule on whether the secretary of state would have to certify that new count. They have given us that authority, so we intend on proceeding until such time as the recount is concluded, said Judge Charles Burton, chairman of Palm Beach County's...
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Thursday, 16 November 2000 12:00 AM
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