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Election 2000 Florida Recount: Canvassing Officials Debate Method for Hand Counting Votes

Aired November 18, 2000 - 1:50 p.m. ET

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

GENE RANDALL, CNN ANCHOR: To bring you up to date, with the mood lighting behind me, George W. Bush now leads by 930 votes over Al Gore, with a 630-vote advantage in the overseas ballots. And we're going to go to Susan Candiotti in Broward County where recounting is going on -- Susan.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Gene.

In fact, this is the fourth day recounting in Broward County. And we have a development here to tell you about. It's not the first time this topic has come up, but it has come up again with great vigor at this hour. A little while ago there was a discussion going on among the canvassing board members. There are three of them, two Democrats and one Republican. One of the two Democrats raised the point of revisiting the standard that the board is using to determine a voter's intent. Up until now this board has been using the so- called "two corner standard"; that two corners of the chad must be punched out in order for the board to determine which way the voter was deciding on which candidate, which candidate they were choosing. Now, there is discussion again about changing that, to allow a more liberal approach, as it were, to consider what have you've heard are the dimpled ballots, or the pregnant ballots where someone begins to punch through a hole but it doesn't go quite through to release the chad. And as an example of a ballot that this one board member was using, she held up one that clearly had, we are told, a choice for president. And on the rest of the ballot there were different punches that didn't quite go through, dimples you might want to call it. And she said, here is an example of someone who clearly made a choice for president. And in her view, they were intending to vote for all of these other candidates. And so, the Republicans are very much opposed to this. They said, hey, what are you trying to do? change the rules in the middle of the game here? So they have now taken a break. And they are going to revisit this once they go back in again. So the matter has not been resolved as yet. And gene, at this hour, we can tell you that with 161 precincts counted of 609 in all here in Broward County, Vice President Gore has picked up another 52 votes -- Gene.

RANDALL: Susan, thanks very much.

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