Associated Press
November 15 , 2000

Fla. Supreme Court Won't Stop Vote Recoun

By Ann Gearan

Tallahassee, FLA (AP) -- Florida's highest court rejected the Republican secretary of state's request Wednesday to delay any hand recounting of ballots in the chaotic tally of presidential ballots.

Katherine Harris had asked the Florida Supreme Court to order a halt to ongoing manual recounts ''pending resolution as to whether any basis exists'' for their legitimacy.

She also asked that the flurry of legal actions around the state be transferred to the local circuit court in Tallahassee, the state capital. She wanted any new suits filed in the same court, too.

''We have considered this petition and have determined that the decision should be denied,'' the unanimous seven-member court wrote in a brief order.

The court ruled without holding a hearing on Harris' request.

In rejecting her suit, the judges, all chosen by Democratic governors, did not address the many other election-related legal challenges making their way through Florida courts.

The judges also moved ahead on a suit filed by Palm Beach County, one of the four Democratic strongholds where the Gore camp requested additional recounting in hopes of finding more votes.

Palm Beach sought state Supreme Court resolution to conflicting legal opinions on the recounts from Harris and from Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth, a Democrat.

The court set deadlines Thursday for legal briefs in the case, and agreed to allow the Gore campaigns and another of the four counties, Broward, to join the Palm Beach suit.

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