Lieberman Says Florida Military Ballots not Targeted

Published November 19th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman on Sunday rejected Republican charges that a memorandum by his campaign had targeted overseas military ballots in Florida for rejection. 

"Let me just say that Vice President Gore and I would never authorize, and not tolerate, a strategy that was aimed at disqualifying military ballots," the Democratic Senator told Fox News Channel. 

"This was a statement about the law regarding absentee ballots. It wasn't intended to be focused on military personnel," he stressed. 

Top aides to Republican White House hopeful George W. Bush alleged on Saturday that their rivals had issued a memorandum to workers counting ballots in Florida showing them how to reject absentee ballots from armed forces personnel serving abroad, who tend to favor Republicans. 

The Bush camp also charged that human error and pro-Gore bias left manual recounts ongoing in key Democratic strongholds "fundamentally flawed" and warned the process was "untrustworthy." 

"It doesn't look to me like there's a high probability of fraud going on," Lieberman countered, saying that every recounted ballot was under scrutiny from Republican, Democratic, and even third-party observers. 

The Gore camp hopes manual recounts in Florida counties seen as Democratic strongholds will help them overtake Bush's 930-vote lead and win Florida's 25 Electoral College votes, without which neither side can win the presidency. 

Asked whether the Democrats would drop lawsuits related to the election if the recounts still show Gore trailing, Lieberman demurred, saying "I think every option remains on the table." 

But "the more this vote count is fair, accurate and honest, the less likely it is that litigation will go forward," he added -- WASHINGTON (AFP)  





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