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Florida Supreme Court won't throw out absentee ballots
TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) -- The Florida Supreme Court affirmed two lower courts' decisions not to throw out some 25,000 absentee ballots cast in Martin and Seminole counties.
Court spokesman Craig Waters announced Tuesday that the court had decided the cases without hearing oral arguments.
Groups of Democratic voters in the two counties had filed separate lawsuits seeking to have the ballots thrown out because election officials had allowed GOP volunteers to fill in missing voter identification numbers on thousands of ballot applications.
On Friday, two Florida circuit court judges ruled that while Republican election supervisors had not acted properly, there was no reason to discard absentee ballots in the two counties.
The Florida Supreme Court agreed, saying that while it did not condone the irregularities, they could not be considered fraud.
Vice President Al Gore was not a party to either lawsuit, but would have benefited if the court had agreed to throw out the ballots.
Republican George W. Bush won the absentee vote in both counties -- by 10,006 votes in Seminole and 6,294 votes in Martin.
Gore received 5,000 votes in Seminole and 3,479 in Martin.
Bush has been certified the winner in Florida by 537 votes.
Judges hear oral arguments in Florida absentee-ballot applications cases
Florida State Courts
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