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Friday, Dec. 1
The Indiana Daily Student


Recount critical for Gore

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- With the presidential race still too close to call, Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush are confident the final vote in Florida will swing in their favor.\n"He is ahead in the popular vote and ahead in the electoral vote. There is one state left to be decided," said William Daley, Gore campaign chairman. "We believe when those votes are counted and that process is complete -- totally complete -- Al Gore will have won the electoral college and the popular vote, and therefore will be the next president."\nGore's afternoon address Wednesday focused on the importance of respecting the rules spelled out in the Constitution. \n"Despite the fact that Joe Lieberman and I won the popular vote, under our Constitution it is the winner of the Electoral College that will be the next president," he said. "The Constitution is the whole foundation of our freedom, and it must be followed faithfully to warrant the true result ordained by the American people in their vote in our respective states."\nGeorge W. Bush gave a brief statement outside the governor's mansion in Austin, reiterating that he is hopeful he and former secretary of state Dick Cheney have secured the state of Florida, and will win the election.\n"This morning brings news from Florida that the final vote count there shows that Secretary Cheney and I have carried the state of Florida," Bush said. "And if that result is confirmed, by an automatic recount as we expect it to be, then we have won the election."\nHe also announced former Secretary of State James Baker will travel to Florida on the Bush campaigns behalf "to make sure the outcome is finalized as quickly as possible and in a calm and thoughtful manner."\nA team of 60 to 70 Democratic staff members are also in Florida overseeing the recount. Tuesday night former Secretary of State Warren Christopher accepted the Gore campaigns offer to act as their adviser over the matter. Florida election officials say they want to move with caution to ensure a credible recount.\n"While the people of the State of Florida deserve a quick resolution to this issue, they more certainly deserve a methodical, a diligent and an accurate resolution," said Florida Elections Director Clay Roberts on CNN Wednesday.\nFinal recount returns from Florida will come in by 5 p.m. Thursday. The votes will be first recounted by precincts, then counties. Each county will release its results as they are tabulated.\nWorkers stopped counting ballots around 6 p.m. Wednesday and will resume in the morning. As of press time, 28 of 67 counties had recounted ballots.\nThe first results after the recount gave Gore an extra 839 votes. Bush added 176 votes as of 8 p.m.\nIn the original count, Bush was ahead by 1,784 votes in the state, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. All absentee votes have been counted except an estimated couple thousand overseas ballots. Those votes had to be postmarked and sent Tuesday, which could push back the final result even further.\nThe overseas ballots are said to be mostly from military personnel stationed overseas. In the 1996 election, 2,300 overseas ballots were counted. In 1996, Republican candidate Bob Dole lost the Florida vote, but cinched 54 percent of the overseas vote in that state.\nBush's brother Jeb, the governor of Florida, took precautions to retain the integrity of the recount process.\n"To ensure there is not the slightest appearance of a conflict of interest, I have chosen to recuse myself of serving on the Election Canvassing Commission, under Florida law this commission is the ultimate certifier of election results," Bush said.\nHis replacement will be appointed by the director of the Division of Elections.\nThe outcome of the election hinges on whether Gore or Bush takes Florida, despite Gore's victory in other states that were too close to call, such as Wisconsin. Oregon, with seven electoral votes, was the last state besides Florida still undecided.\nWithout an official winner in Florida, Gore held 260 electoral votes, while Bush had 246. Only Florida will push either candidate over the 270 benchmark for the presidency.\nAs Gore addressed in his statement, it is almost definite he has won the popular vote in the overall election. Wednesday night, Gore had night 192,638 more votes than Bush.\nIn Florida, the numbers before the recount show the two candidates each at 49 percent.\nGreen Party candidate Ralph Nader secured 2 percent in Florida. His 96,837 votes prompted some speculation as to whether he prevented a Gore victory.\n"Whatever happens to third parties in terms of winning or not winning an election, this is the beginning of the end of the two-party duopoly," Nader told CNN.\nComplaints of irregularities in Florida, such as a conflict over a confusing ballot in Palm Beach County, are still being considered. A discrepancy in the layout of ballots led some voters to select Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan instead of Gore, CNN reported.

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