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Election 2000: Dade County, Florida Canvassing Board Decides to Do Manual Recount

Aired November 14, 2000 - 11:29 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Now we want to go live to Dade County, yet another county in Florida deciding that they need to look at their votes once again. Let's listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... intentional act by any voter in any of the races, whether it's a Republican or Democratic or other candidate, to consider that -- hang on, Mr. Zack (ph) -- to consider that. We've heard such things as pregnant chads or punches that could be the intent of the voter. We have had such things as a quarter and a hang. I do not know until I reasonably see sometimes. And we did experience this just a week ago that we had a torn ballot that we could read part of, but we could not read part of the rest. And that ballot itself was then deemed to be appropriately counted in those categories that we could.

So I don't think we should limit ourselves in the parameters by which we consider, nor do I think any of the parties would want that, because, quite frankly, this recount, it is to all candidates, does it not Mr. Leahy, not just the Republican and Democratic issue...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... it is as to all candidates in the race for president. So therefore I don't want to limit it. I believe that we will know when we see, so to speak, what we are looking at if we deem it to be some intent. If it is clean and it is not, then I believe that it would be considered the other plausible explanation, Mr. Geller (ph) and Mr. Martinez (ph), would be that there is possibly no vote intended for that race because the voter chose not to vote in that race. That is also a possibility, a very plausible one.

So at this time, I don't know, the rules are, I believe, when our staff feel they have sufficient intent, even including an indentation in the mark, that it should be brought to us.

Judge Lehr (ph)?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I agree.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Leahy. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if we might be heard, your honor, we do definitely agree under the statute, particularly 7-B, if the counting team isn't able to determine a voter's intent, the ballot shall be presented to the county canvassing board for it to determine the voter's intent. The best example, hypothetical example -- they may not be one -- is where it's not clear if there's any punching, but sometimes a voter actually goes ahead, if there's some doubt, and writes in right on the ballot in pen and ink who they're for, you could certainly look if someone wrote the name of one of the candidates.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me, Mr. Geller, I don't think we're going to go that far.

KAGAN: Once again, we were listening to the -- in on the canvassing board of Dade County, a county -- yet another county in Florida that has decided it wants to do a manual recount of the presidential votes in that county. Of course that will depend on the decision that we're waiting to hear our of Tallahassee from the state circuit court judge deciding on whether or not the 5:00 p.m. deadline will be extended past today.

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