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Special Event

The Florida Vote: State Lawmakers Poised to Appoint Slate of Bush Electors

Aired December 12, 2000 - 1:10 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: In the distant background of the high court's deliberations today is the Florida legislature, which is poised to handpick a slate of electors for George W. Bush.

CNN's Mike Boettcher joins us now from Tallahassee with the latest about that -- Mike.

MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, we're into our fourth hour of debate on the floor of the House.

And with me now is former Republican state Rep. and Sen. Van Poole, who has floor privileges because he's a former member.

You've been down there on the floor all morning. How has it differed from sessions you've been in in the past?

VAN POOLE, FORMER FLORIDA LAWMAKER: For my account, I've been around this for 30 years and I've never seen it as serious as it is. The members are staying in their seats, there's no movement, and they realize the importance of this and the seriousness of it and are taking it to heart. And I think the people of Florida can be real proud of the job that Speaker Feeney is doing and Rep. Fasano, who's the majority leader, as well as Rep. Frankel, who's the minority leader.

BOETTCHER: So everyone very serious, a lot of decorum.

Let's go to the floor of the House now with Rep. Ron Greenstein, a Democrat, who is speaking.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

RON GREENSTEIN (D), FLORIDA STATE HOUSE: ... amendment that you're not hearing is that substantive analysis. I truly think that this has an important structure of less government because we shouldn't be making this decision until the Supreme Court makes a ruling; individual freedom because you have the right to vote; personal responsibility, it is also your right to vote; and family empowerment.

Ladies and gentlemen, don't disempower anybody. And I, like Jerry Maygarden, think every vote should count no matter where they come from. And I truly, as a veteran and a disabled veteran, think every vote -- and last Friday showed that every vote was going to be counted. Ladies and gentlemen...

BOETTCHER: Well, even though the debate has been polite, it has been tough. And as you can see there, Rep. Greenstein saying that they shouldn't vote until they hear from the Supreme Court. In fact, the Democrats are saying there shouldn't be a vote about this at all, although the Republicans say there is no certain slate of electors and they must act.

But eyes are looking towards Washington trying to figure out what's going to happen in the Supreme Court. When it does, if it happens during this session, they'll recess. Otherwise, they will go ahead and vote -- Natalie.

ALLEN: OK, Mike Boettcher, we'll wait and hear from you when that happens.

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