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The Florida Vote: Official Palm Beach County Vote Gives Gore Additional 188

Aired November 29, 2000 - 2:48 p.m. ET

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

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Let me take you back to Sunday night, just before the official deadline called for by the Florida Supreme Court as a deadline for certifying the votes in Florida. At that time, you recall, Palm Beach County was still counting; they asked for more time, they asked for a couple more hours to count. That request was rejected by the secretary of state, the vote was certified; but there is an official vote count from Palm Beach -- that's the latest development, now.

We call upon Bill Delaney to tell us what that's all about -- Bill.

BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, literally just three minutes ago or so, Theresa LePore, election supervisor here in Palm Beach County, emerged from her office here at the Palm Beach County government center to give us the final results for election 2000 here in Palm Beach County.

What it works out to, the number we've all been waiting for, a net gain for Vice President Al Gore of 188 votes, Lou -- 188 votes. Now, Sunday night Justice Charles Burton, the canvassing board chairman, had indicated to us that he estimated a net gain in Palm Beach County -- an estimate -- of about 215. Well, now the numbers are official: 188.

Now why does that matter, given that the secretary of state has already certified results from here in Palm Beach County? Well, of course, these are important numbers for the contest -- that ongoing postelection contest now going on in Leon County, in the Florida state capitol, Tallahassee. The Gore campaign will want these 188 votes included in their candidate's final numbers for the state of Florida; 188 the magic number, if you will, Lou, here in Palm Beach County.

Back to you.

WATERS: And Bill, of course, the issue of standards still having to be decided. Should theses votes be recounted, what will be the standards for recounting these votes? Now, they were much less liberal standards in West Palm Beach County, I understand, than in Broward -- is that correct?

DELANEY: Well, that's exactly right. Here in Palm Beach they didn't include those dimpled ballots, as they did in Broward County. They had a very narrow standard, not the broad standard that they had in Broward County.

So if they had used the broader standard, the Democrats will argue, they would have gotten even more numbers here, although that's speculation from the democratic side. In the contest, the only relevant numbers right now are 188, because that's what the election supervisor Theresa LePore, one of the members of that three-person canvassing board, has come up with.

I've got, you know, about 20 pages in my hand of numbers from the 637 precincts in this county as well -- which doesn't even include absentee ballots, Lou. When you sift through all those numbers, it comes down to the number that the Gore campaign will be trying to get into their column: 188 for the vice president.

WATERS: All right; Bill Delaney in West Palm Beach. Another matter to factor into your information bank: 188 votes in Palm Beach official, but uncertified vote count there.

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