Florida Supreme Court Allows Recount To Proceed

Thu. November 16, 2000 12:00 AM by Newstream

Tallahassee, FL - The Florida Supreme Court gave the go-ahead to manual ballot recounts in the state's disputed presidential election Friday.

Within minutes, officials in Palm Beach County announced they would swiftly begin a manual recount — as requested by Al Gore’s campaign.

The state Supreme Court ruled in a case filed by two South Florida counties, Palm Beach and Broward, that asked the court to settle whether and how the counts should continue.

The court's preliminary ruling, means it did not rule out further legal challenges to the recounts.

The ballots are under 24-hour-a-day security, locked to prevent tampering.

The issue has been simmering for several days but was given new urgency by the ruling. Some Democratic lawyers urged the justices to rule quickly because counties don't know if they should keep counting or not.

Palm Beach election officials had decided earlier this week to delay their manual recount until they got a ruling.

``We certainly hope the count gets under way in Palm Beach as soon as possible, and both counties complete their votes without further delay by the secretary of state,'' Gore spokesman Doug Hattaway said.

The ruling is a victory for Gore, but does not settle whether the recounts may ultimately help his attempt to poll ahead of Bush in the state vote count. Bush has a 300-vote lead, with about 2,600 overseas absentee ballots uncounted.

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