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George W. Bush Edging Closer To The White House

November 24, 2000

The presidential election is now steadily slipping away from Al Gore, following a decision by the Florida Supreme Court not to order Miami-Dade County to resume its recounting of votes.

The refusal by the Supreme Court upholds an earlier decision by a state appeals court.

The United States Supreme Court has yet to decide whether it will hear an appeal by the Bush campaign against the Florida Supreme Court's decision which ordered the continuation of manual recounts.

Counting in Broward and Palm Beach counties is nearly complete. There are around 2000 "dimpled" ballot papers in Palm Beach awaiting a final ruling as to their validity, but it is now looking more difficult for Gore to make up ground with these votes. Judge Jorge Labarga of Palm Beach County Circuit Court refused a request on Wednesday to set specific standards for evaluating these ballots.

Prior to the decision to stop counting, Miami-Dade had counted 99 of 614 counties. Gore had gained 157 votes. The Miami-Dade canvassing board had intially voted 2-1 against conducting a recount, until last Friday when one of the board members, Judge Myriam Lehr, reversed her opposition in the light of the Florida Supreme Court decision. The board voted unanimously yesterday to halt the recounting and to discard the results.

It is now increasingly likely that Texas Governor George W. Bush will be declared the winner in Florida on Sunday evening. Securing Florida's 25 Electoral College votes will put him over the 270 votes needed to win the election overall.

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