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The Florida Recount: Counting Dimpled Ballots in Palm Beach County Could Give Gore VictoryAired November 22, 2000 - 2:23 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN ANCHOR: We've been spending a lot of time this hour talking about Miami-Dade County and its decision not to go ahead with a recount of ballots there. Palm Beach County, nearby, has been counting and has been setting aside dimpled ballots for later handling; they have not been included in any revised vote totals released to the media and today there was a court hearing on whether to include them in the official tally.
CNN's Jeff Flock is watching this part of the story for us. We're going to turn to Jeff, now.
JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Indeed, Stephen, a couple of headlines for you this afternoon. One, a ruling in that court hearing is expected, now, in about two hours' time. Judge Jorge Labarga has taken the arguments and now he's going to make a decision, he says, by 4:30 -- that's on the question of whether or not they have to count the dimples. Of course, they're counting some, but not all. The Democrats want them all in -- of course, that's very important to them.
And, of course, if there is not a recount in Miami-Dade, the recount that's taking place here, obviously, becomes all the more intense. Let's take you inside and look in the room. They are close to being done. At last check they had about 19,000 ballots to go, but they have only signed off, up until a few moments ago, on 104 precincts. We have the very latest numbers: an additional 65 precincts.
This, by the way, is what the manual recount sheet looks like for each of the individual precincts. This is an absentee precinct -- absentee precinct number 16. It shows, in this particular precinct, George Bush with 1,497 and Gore with 832. What you do is you go ahead and take these manual recount sheets that are the result of the manual recount, compare it to the results from the last machine recount and see what sort of shift there's been.
We can report to you the very latest numbers in those 65 precincts that they have just now cleared. A net gain of vice -- for Governor Bush of one additional vote when you count them all up and total them all out. That, coupled with the earlier result leaves now Gore plus two as a result of the manual recount. But, as you report, these do not take into account all of the dimpled ballots that have been protested. They're in a separate pile.
Now here's what the Democratic lawyers are telling us: Out of the first 1/3 of the precincts that have been counted, if you look at the dimpled ballots for both Bush and Gore, you see a gain for Gore of about 300 ballots only in the first 1/3. If you extrapolate that out to the full precincts in the county, that is perhaps a pickup of perhaps 900 or more votes for Vice President Gore. That's almost what he has to make up statewide.
So this is very, very important, what's happening here in West Palm Beach. And, obviously, the ruling by Judge Labarga in about two hours' time is a key one because even if there isn't a recount, then, in Miami-Dade, they feel like they can make it up alone here in West Palm Beach and in Broward.
Stephen, that's the latest, back to you.
FRAZIER: Jeff, thanks for those insights; pretty important in how this count is developing.
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