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Democratic Attorney Ben Kuehne Argues at Hearing on 'Dimpled' Ballots Procedures Before Palm Beach County Court

Aired November 22, 2000 - 10:16 a.m. ET

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

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Let's stay in Palm Beach County and go inside the courtroom, where the second of three scheduled hearings for today is actually in session right now. We are listening now to the Democrats, who are making their case about whether or not dimpled ballots should be counted. We're listening now to Democratic attorney Ben Kuehne.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

BEN KUEHNE, DEMOCRATIC PARTY ATTORNEY: And there are more examples. And what we've shown from a panorama of application in Florida is that, when canvassing boards have met to try to determine the intent of the voter on rejected votes, and I say that because we believe Florida law is very clear. Any time a vote is rejected by the computer, it must be reviewed by the canvassing board, must be. Statutes we've cited make that very clear.

So even in jurisdictions that have the ScanTron, the fill-in the bubble, have used a standard that says any identifiable marking, which is why, as Exhibit I, the affidavit of a lawyer, Mr. Poria (ph) from Seminole County says: When the canvassing board was finished with their review of the ScanTron sheets, although they had gone through a large amount, hundreds of ScanTron sheets, very few, almost no, ScanTron sheets were left in the does-not-count-as-a-vote pile. And the ones that were, clearly indicated a vote for two people. And under Florida law, if you vote for two people, it is counted as a no vote.

Broward County is doing much the same. Volusia County, which surprisingly we have not heard much about, it started their hand count, did it quickly, did it without a lot of fuss and muss, although one of the cases was a vehicle for the Supreme Court decision, and it's finished. They applied the same standard that...

HARRIS: What it is that we're listening to, this is a hearing that has been requested to determine whether or not dimpled ballots in Florida should be counted. As you may know, the dimpled ballots have ballots that have been set aside up until this point in this process of ballot-counting in Florida until some determination can be made by a court whether or not they should be included. And of course, Republicans have been fighting that. Democrats have been counting on the dimpled ballots to push Al Gore over the top. We will keep our eyes and ears open on that. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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