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Special Event

Palm Beach Election Officials Describe Process for Counting Ballots

Aired November 11, 2000 - 6:22 p.m. ET

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

HOWARD KURTZ, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to go right now to Bob Nichols, the Palm Beach County spokesman, in Florida.

BOB NICHOLS, PALM BEACH COUNTY SPOKESMAN: ... that will be counted under our procedures now adopted and being followed by the canvassing board. The hanging chad: That is a description of a chad which has been punched, but it is hanging from the top. They call it the hanging door chad. That is counted.

The second type is the swinging door, which is counted. It's attached at the top and swings out. A hanging chad will be hanging by one corner. And that's counted.

The other one that's counted is what they call a tri. And the tri chad also is counted.

The ones that are not counted are those that are called the pregnant chad. That's where the indentation is there, and it bulges. But the chad doesn't go through in any way.

The other one that is not counted is the dimple.

So those are the descriptions of the kinds of chads. And those are the references that people in the business of voting card machines use to identify this.

Now hold your questions, please. Hold your questions until we get this done.

I'm going to let you take these. And I want you to give it a shot andsee what you can do.

You're going to find I think that it is very difficult to make a pregnant indention. It's very difficult to make the dimple indention without the chad actually falling through.

So now you know that under our guidelines those three types of chads are counted as a vote. The hanging one is counted. The swinging door is counted. And the tri is counted.

The ones that are not counted are the ones that are just dimpled or pregnant there, a little bit out but they're not through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the tri?

NICHOLS: The tri hangs from basically one corner there. It's hanging on three. Only one corner has been opened up. And it's extremely difficult to do. You try to punch this out and only get one. As hard as you try, it's difficult to do. You'll see when you get a chance at these.

We wanted to provide these to you in case some of you haven't seen these. And if you don't need it and you've already seen it, please don't take on. But if youhaven't and you want one, please get one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about the situation where you have all four corners attached, but you put the stylus all the way through it, the sunshine test as they were talking about this morning? Is that a counted vote under the existing standard?

NICHOLS: If it's only dimpled, it's not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But if the judge is talking all the way through, penetrating it and then being able to look through?

NICHOLS: You mean if the stylus went through the chad and didn't take it out?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take it out, all four corners were attached, but there was a hole...

NICHOLS: That's a pregnant chad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a pregnant chad. (INAUDIBLE)

NICHOLS: That's my understanding. All right, who would like some of these?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you give us samples of how -- to show everyone what that means? Is there any way that you all can do that for us?

NICHOLS: No, I'm going to let you do it.

(CROSSTALK)

NICHOLS: I'm sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) example of what you're talking about?

NICHOLS: Well, I've got to tell you the truth. And I'll be totally honest with you. I have a hard time getting them to do that. They actually have been manufactured that way to show. It's very difficult. I can't do it.

But the idea is that if it's hanging by one corner, by two corners, orby three corners but it is punched out like the tri, it counts as a vote. If it a pregnant and it's attached at the four corners it's a pregnant one. But it's not out, it's not counted, and nor is a dimple. Those are not counted under this procedure.

All right, now listen up...

KURTZ: Bob Nichols, Palm Beach County spokesman, adding a new phrase to the political lexicon: a pregnant chad.

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