Report: Bush Seeks Court Order Blocking Vote Count
Texas Governor George W. Bush will take legal action to block a manual recount of ballots cast by some Florida voters in the US presidential election, the Washington Post reported Saturday.
The newspaper reported that Bush had authorized former secretary of state James Baker late Friday to seek a court order today blocking the count by hand.
The move was likely to further reduce the already slim likelihood that questions raised over the vote count would be resolved speedily.
An automatic recount was set in motion because of the slight 1,784-vote margin favoring Bush over Gore in Florida in last Tuesday's presidential election.
Bush remained ahead after a recount of Florida votes, but by a much slimmer margin of 327 votes over Gore in the state, with absentee ballots still to be counted.
Now a manual recount requested by the Gore team could erode the gap further.
Voting officials were to scrutinize ballots early Saturday in all precincts in Volusia County, in selected precincts in Palm Beach County and in Broward County on Monday. Miami-Dade County officials were to decide Tuesday whether to initiate a recount.
Florida has 25 crucial electoral college votes which could give either candidate the more than 270 votes needed to win the White House.
Democrats have pinned their hopes on an influx of thousands of absentee ballots from soldiers and other Floridians living overseas that will not be fully tallied before next Friday.
Despite the lack of a definitive vote result, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush planned to meet at his Texas ranch with running mate Dick Cheney Saturday, as he continued preparations to assume the US presidency – WASHINGTON (AFP)
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