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The Florida Recount: Palm Beach County Keeps Manual Tally on Hold, Waits for State Supreme Court RulingAired November 16, 2000 - 1:54 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: This is where we stand today, another day and another round of legal maneuvering over whether and how to manually recount presidential ballots in Florida.
Here's the latest: The Gore campaign and the Democratic Party want a state court in Tallahassee to overrule the refusal by Florida's secretary of state to accept hand-recount results in four counties. That was the hearing you just heard here live on CNN.
Here in Atlanta, a federal appeals court is weighing a request from the Bush campaign to block hand counts entirely. The Gore camp says it's none of the federal court's business. And through it all, one Florida county, Broward, is manually recounting anyway while another, Palm Beach, is in limbo.
And that's where we'll go now because, in Palm Beach County, home of the most contested ballots in the state, officials still don't know whether to manually recount or not. The canvassing board is meeting again today.
And CNN's John Zarrella is -- joins us now because that meeting is now over. He can tell you what they talked about.
And I bet their ears were burning because they were talking about them, John, in the state court today as well.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boy, the eye of the storm getting beat up pretty good in state court there. And the issue is this -- exactly that. They stopped -- they did not start the count here because they had an opinion from the secretary of state, Division of Elections, that said they couldn't count because it wasn't a machine-broken issue or software problem. Attorney general said, well, you can count, but they wanted a legal opinion because the secretary of state's ruling is binding, the attorney general's is not binding.
Today, they finished up their meeting just a little while ago and it was Judge Charles Burton, who is the chairman of the canvassing commission, in a very moving, moving statement, talked about what they want to do but why they're not doing it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JUDGE CHARLES BURTON, PALM BEACH CANVASSING BOARD: In times of peace, there is no greater act that a citizen can perform than the right to vote. However, more important is the right for that vote to count.
Ladies and gentlemen, please. Again, I have to tell everybody that unless it is quiet, we will need to go inside.
Simply stated, there were too many votes of people who voted in this election that were not included in the machine count. I want to make it perfectly clear as chair of this board, I support a manual recount. And I ask the citizens of this county that the citizens of this county recognize that this board has voted to have a manual recount, and we intend to do so.
At the same time, the citizens need to realize that when they see various legislators from both parties on television, please keep in mind that it is those same legislators that wrote the laws that, as a judge, I must follow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZARRELLA: The judge said that they had to follow the rule of law and the rule of law was to wait for the state supreme court before they will start a recount. They did have a motion to vote. That was Commissioner -- one of the commissioners asking that they do go ahead and start voting again. It was shot down. So they are not going to start voting -- Natalie.
ALLEN: We wait for the courts. John Zarrella in Palm Beach.
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