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Palm Beach County ballots reach state capital

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) -- A yellow Ryder truck loaded with the 462,000 ballots cast on Election Day in Palm Beach County arrived at the Leon County Courthouse on Thursday at 3:35 p.m. EST.

The convoy, which included unmarked sheriff's cars and press vehicles, was met by three Tallahassee police escorts on motorcycles as it pulled off Interstate 10 into the state capital.

The Ryder truck carrying the Palm Beach County ballots arrives at the Leon County Courthouse Thursday  

The ballots will be placed in the vault of the clerk of the court, until Leon County Circuit Court Judge N. Sanders Sauls decides whether to grant Democrats' request that they be hand counted.

On Friday, a six-truck caravan carrying 654,000 ballots from Miami-Dade County will depart for Tallahassee to comply with the judge's order that they be brought to the Tallahassee by 5 p.m. EST.

The Ryder truck that departed the Emergency Operations Center in West Palm Beach early Thursday morning for the 400-mile drive was loaded with 162 gray metal boxes weighing 20-30 pounds each.

County officials said the ballots were not flown to Tallahassee because the cases weighed thousands of pounds. They said there are no direct commercial flights anyway, and any flight would have taken at least five hours.

For Miami-Dade's ballot transfer, workers will begin loading the convoy at 5 a.m. EST Friday with 80 to 100 boxes of ballots. In the lead will be a marked Miami-Dade Police Department car followed by two white, 14-foot panel trucks, another marked car and one car each for a Republican observer and a Democratic observer.

Inside each marked car will be two officers from the county's Special Response Team, Miami-Dade's equivalent of a SWAT team. Officers were planning to make only one stop during the 468-mile trip.


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Thursday, November 30, 2000

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