Skip to main content
ad info

 
Greta@LAW
CNN.com  law center > news
trials and cases
open forum
law library
 
Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 
LAW
TOP STORIES

Prosecutor says witnesses saw rap star shoot gun in club

Embassy bombing defendants' confessions admissible, says U.S. Judge

Excerpt: John Grisham's 'A Painted House'

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

Bush signs order opening 'faith-based' charity office for business

Rescues continue 4 days after devastating India earthquake

DaimlerChrysler employees join rapidly swelling ranks of laid-off U.S. workers

Disney's GO.com is a goner

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

TECHNOLOGY

ENTERTAINMENT

TRAVEL

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
*
 
CNN Websites
Networks image

find law dictionary
 

Gore legal team wants manual count to proceed beyond 5 p.m.

graphic
 

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) -- Democrat Al Gore's legal team urged the Florida secretary of state to accept manual vote recounts after the certification deadline of 5 p.m. Tuesday, saying rejecting the recounts out of hand would be arbitrary and violate a circuit judge's order.

Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled Tuesday that Florida Secretary of State Kathleen Harris may cut off filing of official election returns by 5 p.m. But Harris may not arbitrarily ignore late counts, which may not be finished until the weekend, Lewis ruled.

"We would all hope the secretary of state, having received this guidance from the court, would do the right thing," Gore campaign attorney David Boies told reporters Tuesday afternoon.

graphic WHO'S WHO
Who's who in the election recount
graphic DOCUMENTS
Complaint from Volusia County Canvassing Board challenging November 14 deadline for election certification - McDermott v. Harris - November 13, 2000 (FindLaw)(PDF format)

Judge Middlebrooks' ruling denying injunction sought by Bush campaign

Federal complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief filed by the George W. Bush campaign (FindLaw) (PDF format)

State court complaint seeking a new election in Palm Beach County, Fladell v. Palm Beach (FindLaw)

Palm Beach County voters' class action civil rights complaint, Horowitz v. Lepore (FindLaw) (PDF format)

More related documents
PDF documents require Adobe Acrobat Reader
  LEGAL RESOURCES

Latest Legal News

Law Library

FindLaw Consumer Center

Boies added that the Gore campaign is urging all counties where vote tallies are in dispute to "go ahead and finish the recount as fast as you can."

Gore campaign representative Warren Christopher lauded the court ruling, saying it would allow the recount to continue -- even though state authorities would retain the power to reject them.

"Under this decision, we now have a vehicle for the full, fair and accurate tabulation of the votes of the citizens of Florida," he said.

Harris said Monday that votes must be certified to her office by 5 p.m. on Tuesday. She said Florida law requires that returns not certified by that time -- with the exception of overseas absentee ballots -- "shall be ignored."

Lewis ruled that counties may file supplemental or corrected totals after the 5 p.m. deadline, directing Harris to consider them with "the sound exercise of discretion."

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Volusia County in northeast Florida seeking to extend the deadline. The Gore campaign joined that lawsuit. The judge's ruling hews to state election law, though it gives Harris the leeway to extend the deadline.

Palm Beach County, where hundreds of voters said they were confused by the arrangement of candidate names on the ballot, was doing a manual recount of all ballots.

Several hundred overseas ballots also remained to be counted by Friday.

Those vote tallies will be added to certified totals from each county to determine the winner of the hotly contested presidential contest. Whoever wins Florida's 25 electoral votes would most likely become the 43rd president.

The 1st District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee had not, by 4 p.m. received an appeal challenging the 5 p.m. deadline from either the Gore campaign or Volusia County, an official in the clerk's office said. The Florida Supreme Court also did not receive an appeal, according to court spokesman Craig Waters.

Gerald Kogan, former chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court, said Gore and Volusia County officials could seek temporary injunctions from either the appeals or the supreme court suspending the 5 p.m. deadline until the merits of extending the deadline are heard by either court. The logical place for the appeal to be filed is the Tallahassee appeals court because Lewis' court is there, Kogan said.

Because the matter involves Florida law, an appeal to the federal courts would not be possible, Kogan said.

"I don't see any federal constitutional question," Kogan said. "Their place to go is to the Florida Supreme Court."

In the latest developments on the legal front:

• The Palm Beach County Canvassing Board headed to court after Harris, co-chairwoman of Bush Florida campaign, issued an advisory opinion that the county could not hand recount its votes unless its "vote tabulation system" -- the counting machines -- had malfunctioned.

• Attorney General Bob Butterworth, a Democrat and Vice President Al Gore's Florida campaign chairman, ruled Harris was in error. That sent the canvassing board to court to find out who is right.

• A Broward County circuit court judge granted an emergency hearing to the Broward County Democratic Party, which is seeking to force the county's canvassing board to manually recount ballots from the presidential election. That board had stopped after Harris' ruled it could not proceed unless its machines had malfunctioned.

• The Florida Democratic Party sued in Palm Beach County Circuit Court in a bid to force the county's canvassing board to count dimpled ballots, those with a slight indentation, where the paper were not punched through completely.

• Five Palm Beach County judges recused themselves from having to hear a combined lawsuit filed by a number of voters seeking redress for what they described as a misleading "butterfly" ballot used by the county.

• A hearing had been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon on at least seven suits which challenge the legality of the county's "butterfly" ballot, criticized as illegally so confusing it caused them to vote for the wrong presidential candidate.

Copyright 2000 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.



RELATED STORIES:
With Florida court action reaching critical mass, a compromise may be in works
November 14, 2000
Judge grants injunction to freeze Palm Beach vote certification
November 10, 2000
Florida law provides variety of cures for problem elections
November 9, 2000
Reno says Justice Department keeping an eye on Florida election November 9, 2000
Justice Department discusses Florida election
November 8, 2000
Election Day allegations could form basis for legal challenges, experts say
November 8, 2000
Electoral win not a guarantee, no matter what happens in Florida
November 8, 2000

RELATED SITES:
See related sites about LAW

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
 Search


Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.