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Jeb Bush appoints task force to recommend improvements in the way Florida votes

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) -- After legal battles that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme court over the way Florida counts its votes, the state's Republican Gov. Jeb Bush announced Thursday the creation of a special task force to study the state's elections process and recommend improvements.

"With its help, we will ensure the fairness of our system, that our voting and counting mechanisms are fully modernized," the Florida governor said at a press conference.

Jeb Bush
Gov. Jeb Bush  

Bush said the task force would make recommendations to the Florida Legislature on how to improve the system, which came under fire in the weeks after the presidential election.

Some Democratic voters in Palm Beach County complained of a confusing ballot that caused them to vote for the wrong candidate, others complained that another type of ballot -- the punchcard -- did not register their choices, and still other voters complained how the state handled the recount process.

In Duval County, African-American voters complained voting machines had not been properly maintained or were old.

The Florida governor took pains to note that the commission will be bipartisan.

Bush saluted both his brother, President-elect George W. Bush, and Democrat Al Gore for their speeches Wednesday night.

Bush singled out Gore for his concession speech. "I think he set a tone for reconciliation and healing for our country," Bush said. "I know it was tough."

As for the special session of the Florida Legislature that had been called by Republican leaders to name a slate of electors for Bush, state Senate President John McKay said it would probably end today. The House had approved a resolution in favor of appointing electors, but the Senate has not yet acted. Gore's concession rendered the move moot.


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Thursday, December 14, 2000

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