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CNN Today

Recount Completed in Miami-Dade County

Aired February 26, 2001 - 1:32 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: Now back to Election 2000. We have to take you back there because they're trying to figure out how to not let what happened happen again. "The Miami Herald" has completed its own recount of the undervote in Miami-Dade County. Those are ballots where no vote for president was picked up by a machine.

"The Herald" found that even had the official recount proceeded, it wouldn't have made a difference to Al Gore. That news comes as a special state task force releases its recommendations for smoother elections in years to come, and CNN's Susan Candiotti joins us now from Gainesville with that -- Susan.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Natalie. Yes, the Election 2000 is over. But not really in the hearts of Floridians, it seems. The recount of more than 10,000 undervotes in Miami-Dade County reveals a net gain of 49 additional votes for then-Vice President Gore, which would not have been enough for him to beat then- Governor George Bush.

Miami-Dade County, you might recall, was one of four counties initially challenged by Vice President Gore before the Florida Supreme Court ordered a statewide recount of all undervotes, a process that was then stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court.

So, here are the numbers for those four counties. First of all, Volusia County, 98 for Gore more; Broward, 567; Palm Beach, 174; and Miami-Dade County an additional 49. In the words of "The Miami Herald," quote: Even with these added votes for Gore, Bush would have been the victor by 140 votes."

Now, "The Miami Herald" says while the Bush camp might be happy about those findings, the newspaper indicated that it's not through with its recount process, yet, and that the votes might swing in Vice President Gore's direction in the weeks to come. Now, of course, none of this has a bearing on the outcome of the presidential election, but does provide additional material for those interested in reviewing the process.

And "The Miami Herald"'s chief editorial writer, who attended an election panel today here at the University of Florida, says that the election review proves that voters themselves must share the blame for a chaotic election.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TOM FIEDLER, "THE MIAMI HERALD": People went into the polls in many cases intending to cast a ballot for one or the other, in most cases for Vice President Gore and for whatever reason, they spoiled the ballot. And ultimately this was a human failure. And I think if there is a lesson that candidates need to take away from this and the one that perhaps Vice President Gore will regret is that there wasn't sufficient preparation or instructions for people who were going to cast ballots for him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CANDIOTTI: Also today, Florida Governor Jeb Bush's election task force is finalizing its recommendations to the Florida legislature. Among its findings, calling for better and much-improved voter education as well as suggesting the adoption of a uniform statewide ballot-counting process by the time those statewide elections roll around in 2002, which happens to be when Florida Governor Jeb Bush is up for reelection.

Natalie, back to you.

ALLEN: And so can we assume punch cards are gone from elections in Florida?

CANDIOTTI: They're gone for sure. The legislature has said so. The governor has said so and now this task force agrees.

ALLEN: OK, good-bye pregnant chads. Thank you, Susan Candiotti in Gainesville.

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