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Florida court considers military absentee ballots

Judge L. Ralph Smith
Judge L. Ralph Smith presides over Friday hearing on military absentee ballots  

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- The Leon County Circuit Court was holding a hearing Friday on whether overseas military absentee ballots were illegally rejected in a number of Florida counties.

Republicans are asking the court to order election officials to count overseas military ballots even if they bear an illegible, late or U.S. postmark, or lack a handwritten date, and even if the county can't locate the request for the absentee ballot or the signatures on the application and actual ballot don't match exactly.

A manual recount is going forward in Broward County and Palm Beach County. The Palm Beach County Canvassing Board held a hearing Friday morning on how to count ballots with dimpled chad.

Key election-related petitions and briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court and Florida courts Provided by FindLaw
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George W. Bush petitions for appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and related documents
Florida Supreme Court ruling on inclusion of ballot recounts and related documents
Florida Election Code and related laws
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Full text of filings in election lawsuits

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Election officials in Miami-Dade County voted to end its manual recount because they said they would not be able to complete it by the November 26th deadline set by the Florida Supreme Court. The Gore campaign went back to the Florida Supreme Court to ask it to order Miami-Dade County to resume the manual recount, but the court on Thursday rejected the request.

Gore attorney David Boies said that the campaign will go to court to contest the certified results of the Miami-Dade County vote, arguing that there should have been a hand recount there, and that the ballots that were counted before the hand recount was suspended should have been added to the final total.

And in Seminole County, a judge was set to hear evidence Monday on a lawsuit filed by a Democratic attorney alleging that a county elections official illegally allowed Republican officials to fill in missing information on 4,700 absentee ballot requests.

The suit asks that the 4,700 vote be thrown out if they can be identified, or if not, that all 15,000 absentee votes cast in the county be rejected.

Bush tells U.S. Supreme Court: Manual recounts violate U.S. Constitution
November 19, 2000
Bush, Harris urge end to Florida recount; Gore seeks uniform standard
November 19, 2000
Gore asks Florida high court to set standards for recount
November 19, 2000
Presidential vote recounts yield few changes so far, officials say
November 19, 2000
Democrats protest exclusion of ballots in Palm Beach County
November 19, 2000
Lieberman says Dems not trying to block absentee ballots
November 19, 2000
Congress studying electoral college scenarios
November 19, 2000
Bush camp blasts 'flawed' count
November 18, 2000
Candidates' lawyers head for court showdown in Florida
November 18, 2000
Manual recounts continue as court refuses Republican request for a halt
November 18, 2000

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