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Broward County to defend hand ballot count in court

FT. LAUDERDALE, Florida (CNN) -- The Broward County Canvassing Board was scheduled to appear in court Friday afternoon to explain why a hand recount in the county should continue.

County Circuit Court Judge John Miller ordered the canvassing board to appear before the court Friday in response to a lawsuit filed Thursday by four Florida Republican voters to stop the hand ballot count.

"We're going to prove that the entire hand count should never have started," said William Sherer, the Florida GOP attorney representing the voters. "It's illegal, it's contrary to law, it's contrary to Florida election law."

The attorney for the Democratic side, Florida Democratic Party attorney Leonard Samuels, said he remained confident the legality of the recount would be upheld.

"This is just another attempt by the Republicans to stop the manual recount by serving subpoenas on the canvassing board to stop the work out there," he said. "We're confident that the work (of the hand recount) will continue."

Broward County was conducting its hand recount after the Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday there was no legal reason why officials could not proceed.

A complicating factor is the decision by Secretary of State Katherine Harris that she will not accept the results of the recount. That decision was upheld Friday by a circuit judge in Leon County.


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Friday, November 17, 2000

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