Saturday December 04, 2021

Harris Certifies Bush Winner In Florida; Court Battles Looming

November 27, 2000

The Florida Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, has certified the election results in Florida, giving victory to George W. Bush by 537 votes. The certification awards Florida's 25 electoral college votes to Bush, putting him over the 270 needed to win the presidential election.

The certification came after Harris refused to grant a request for more time from the Palm Beach County Canvassing Board. The deadline set by the Florida Supreme Court for the completion of counting expired at 5pm on Sunday. A request by the head of the Palm Beach board head, Judge Charles Burton, for an extension to 9am on Monday was denied by Harris late on Sunday afternoon.

When the board faxed her incomplete returns, Harris refused to accept them and instead used the machine recount figures from November 14.

The Palm Beach board worked for another two hours to complete the counting of about 800-1000 votes. Its figures gave Vice-President Al Gore a 180-vote gain over the machine recount.

In Broward County, where counting was completed on Saturday night, Al Gore has a net gain of 567 votes.

Counting in Miami-Dade county was suspended by its canvassing board last week. The board said it would not be able to complete the count by Sunday's deadline.

The Palm Beach and Miami-Dade situations will now be the subject of court challenges by the Democrats. In addition, a challenge will be brought against the decision in Nassau County on Friday in which a machine recount was discarded, boosting Bush's tally by 52 votes.

The Supreme Court will accept written briefs on Tuesday, prior to hearing oral arguments on Friday from the Bush campaign which is seeking to overturn a Florida Supreme Court decision allowing manual recounts.



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