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Bush Claims Victory, Calls On Gore Not To Challenge; Lieberman Says Result Is Incomplete

November 27, 2000

George W. Bush Addresses the Nation to Claim Victory George W. Bush has claimed victory in the US Presidential election and called upon Vice-President Al Gore not to challenge the Florida result in court.

Bush said "filing a contest to the outcome of the election" was not the "best route" for the nation.

Bush also announced that Dick Cheney would be in charge of transition arrangements and named Andrew Card as his Chief of Staff.

Bush talked of establishing contact with President Clinton over the transition, bringing the incumbent president into the election wrangle for the first time since polling day. It would be surprising if Clinton co-operated with Bush on a transition when the result is still is doubt.

Vice-President Al Gore will deliver a speech tomorrow in which he will defend his decision to contest the election result, but his running mate, Senator Joe Lieberman, said today that the vote tally in Florida is "incomplete and inaccurate".

"What is at issue here is nothing less than every American's simple, sacred right to vote," Lieberman said. "How can we teach our children that every vote counts if we are not willing to make a good-faith effort to count every vote?"

The figures certified in the past few hours by Katherine Harris (see below) show Bush with 2,912,790 votes in Florida, compared to 2,912,253 for Gore.

The legal strategy to be adopted by the Gore campaign has become clearer following a press conference by attorney David Boies. In Miami-Dade county, a recount of 388 votes had yielded an additional 156 votes for Gore. These have not been included in the certified results. The Gore campaign argues that 10,000 undervote ballots (a ballot where an indentation, but not a perforation, appears) should be included in the tally and is contesting the decision of the Miami-Dade canvassing board to discontinue the recount.

In Nassau County, the Gore camp argues that a decision to discard hand recounts in favour of an earlier machine recount was invalid, partly because a member of the canvassing board was improperly appointed.

Gore's lawyers will also challenge the result in Palm Beach County where Katherine Harris refused to extend the deadline and then refused to accept the incomplete recount figures (see below). The Gore lawyers also argue that the standard applied by Palm Beach County in assessing "dimpled" ballots was too strict, citing faulty voting machines they say produced an undervote rate up to 5 or 6 times higher than in other counties.

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