More than 650,000 uncounted ballots from Miami-Dade County Florida packed into cardboard boxes and loaded onto a rented truck started an eight-hour drive to the state capital of Tallahassee early Friday.
US media showed live pictures of two trucks -- one of them empty serving as backup -- escorted by police on the highway with the ballots on board that will be used as evidence in court battles over whether or not they should be recounted.
Some 460,000 ballots from Palm-Beach County were shipped by truck Thursday to a courthouse in Tallahassee.
The Palm Beach ballots have already been counted and recounted with their tally added to the confirmed results of the November 7 presidential election in Florida which gave Republican George W. Bush a 537-vote lead over Democrat Al Gore.
The Miami-Dade ballot recount fell about 1,000 short of being completed when the 5:00 pm Sunday deadline set for the results to be filed expired. The result of that recount was not admitted in the official tally.
Gore contested the official tally in a county circuit court in Tallahassee.
Presiding Leon County Circuit Court Judge Sanders Sauls on Wednesday ordered all 1.1 million ballots from both counties sent to his court under police escort, revising his earlier decision to have only contested votes delivered.
But Sauls has yet to rule on a request by the Democrats to have the ballots recounted. He scheduled a hearing on the matter for early Saturday.
Gore's campaign wants the disputed ballots recounted using a broad standard that allows marked, but unpunched, ballots, which the counting machines rejected as non-votes, to be counted as votes.
And in a surprise motion, Bush's lawyers late Thursday asked judge Sauls to have more than one million additional ballots from three other Florida counties -- Broward, Pinellas and Volusia -- sent to Tallahassee. A ruling could be issued Friday -- MIAMI (AFP)
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