The pregnant chad, the dimple chad ,, What the heck are they?? LOL
Saturday November 11 8:30 PM ET
Officials Begin Florida Hand Count
By KARIN MEADOWS, Associated Press Writer
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Election officials recounted hundreds of thousands of ballots under tight security Saturday and argued over an electoral riddle: When is a vote not a vote?
Supporters of Texas Gov. George W. Bush (news - web sites) and Vice President Al Gore (news - web sites) - whose White House hopes were at stake - bickered over whether votes should be recounted and how to do it. The Bush campaign went to court in an attempt to block the vote recounting by hand, but a federal judge put off a hearing on his emergency request until Monday.
The fight was most intense in Palm Beach County, a Democratic stronghold and a major source of support for Gore. Election workers conducted simultaneous manual and mechanical recounts, an agonizingly slow process that officials warned could take 12 or more hours.
Workers brought in silver metal boxes from four precincts, broke the seals and took the ballots out. Six teams of three counters and two observers peered closely at each ballot to determine who was voted for. Then they placed each ballot into separate piles.
At times, the recount bordered on the ridiculous.
Election officials spent hours poring over individual ballots and disagreeing over the standard used in accepting a vote.
In the morning, the canvassing board said they would count a vote if any of the corners of the bits of paper punched out of the cards - called ``chad'' - were punched. The board then decided that they would instead use the ``sunlight test'' - if they could see sun come though an indentation, it would count.
However, according to a lawyer for the county, there was a problem with the revised standard. Even if one corner was punched, sometimes the sun wouldn't shine through. So, the standard was revised back to the corner rule, according to the lawyer Leon St. John.
Palm Beach County Judge Charles Burton, a member of the county's canvassing board, said despite the request for a federal injunction, the recount would proceed as planned.
``All of you can go file for an injunction, but until we get a court order it doesn't mean anything,'' he said. ``If we get one we'll read it and we will abide by it.''
The hand recount was supposed to take place in four precincts - one in Palm Beach Gardens, two in Boca Raton and one in Delray Beach. Originally, three counties were chosen, but another was added Saturday because the first three didn't add up to 1 percent of the vote, as required by state law. The ballots arrived at the government center under police escort.
Elsewhere in Florida on Saturday:
-Workers in Polk County re-scanned ballots in dozens of precincts for a second day.
-Volusia County postponed until Sunday a full hand recount of all the county's 184,018 ballots. Workers sifted the ballots on Friday and Saturday for any write-in votes. The judge will hold up each ballot, show it to the Democratic observer and the GOP observer, then to other commission member.
Democrats and Republicans were bringing in more than 100 people each from around the country to witness the process.
-About 26,000 votes in Duval County were disqualified and never counted when voters punched more than one candidate on their ballot or failed to vote for president. The county is solidly Republican.
-In Broward County, officials said 6,686 ballots were not counted because the computer did not recognize any selection. Broward election officials voted 2-1 to do a hand-recount of three precincts beginning Monday. If there is a change, they also will consider a full hand-recount.
-In Seminole County, Democrats said they heard that Republicans had asked for a hand count of ballots, but the county's Republican Party (news - web sites) chairman Jim Stelling said neither party had requested a hand count.
The Bush campaign, in moving to stop the manual recount, argued in its application for a federal injunction there is a need to ``preserve the integrity, equality, and finality'' of the vote. As the vote recount continued, U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks, who was assigned the case, set a hearing for Monday on the Bush campaign's suit.
Democrats wanted a recount by hand so that ballots can be examined more closely. If there is a change in the sample count, county officials will then decide whether to do a recount by hand of the entire county.
Democrats said thousands of votes in Palm Beach County and elsewhere in Florida may not have been counted because the tiny piece of paper punched out for a candidate did not completely dislodge. About 30,000 ballots were rejected in Palm Beach County alone because they had two or more holes punched for president - or computers didn't detect any holes at all.
Palm Beach County Democrats also complain that the county's ballot was so confusing that many Gore voters mistakenly voted for Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan (news - web sites). Florida election officials said Friday the ballot did not violate state law, as several lawsuits filed by Democrats contend.
In response to one of those lawsuits, a circuit judge on Thursday issued a preliminary injunction barring the county's canvassing commission from certifying the final recount results until a hearing Tuesday.
An unofficial Associated Press canvass of the presidential vote in Florida showed Bush with a 327-vote lead over Gore. The eventual winner will take Florida's 25 electoral votes and become the nation's 43rd president.
On Friday, Secretary of State Katherine Harris said Bush had 2,910,074 votes to Gore's 2,909,114, a difference of 960, with one county still to be recounted - Palm Beach County where the AP showed a big gain for Gore.
The totals from the AP canvass were Bush 2,910,198, Gore 2,909,871.
The state could not include the Palm Beach County recount because of the judge's injunction Thursday. The AP canvass included the latest figures from Palm Beach County election authorities. Also, unlike the secretary of state's office, the AP count reflected a small number of federal write-ins in Polk County. The handwritten military ballots can't be scanned by computer.
By cilopnluyd on Thursday, January 27, 2011 - 01:50 am: