Election’s battles await court actions

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 4, 2000

The Associated Press

With the calendar closing in, the recount Al Gore believes would reverse George W.

Monday, December 04, 2000

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With the calendar closing in, the recount Al Gore believes would reverse George W. Bush’s minuscule margin in Florida and send him to the White House instead is up to a folksy but firm Tallahassee judge, with an appeal certain whatever his verdict.

And in the marbled splendor of the U.S. Supreme Court, a decision is pending on Bush’s appeal against the recount extension that delayed but did not stop his certification as the Florida winner by 537 votes, the fragment that would make him the 43rd president.

Should that be the outcome, Gore said, and should it be Bush, not he, who is inaugurated on Jan. 20, "he will be sworn in as my president, too."

That will be only "at the end of the day, when all processes have taken place," Gore said in an interview on CBS’ "60 Minutes" Sunday night.

Sen. John Breaux, D-La., said Monday on NBC’s "Today" show that both candidates will have to find "an appropriate time" to conclude the election battle.

"The most important speech of this election is … going to be given by the loser when they concede because it will set the tone for the next four years," said Breaux, who is among a number of Democrats that Bush advisers have suggested for a slot in his administration.

Both sides awaited a decision today by Leon County Circuit Judge N. Sanders Sauls on the Gore’s demand for a full recount of votes in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

"Whatever happens, both sides know this is going to end up in the Florida Supreme Court," Gore said. "It’s not a recount. We want a first count."

It would be a recount, by hand, of ballots already tallied by machine in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. That would cover about 14,000 disputed ballots.

"We need to have these votes counted," Gore lawyer Ron Klain said today on CBS’ "The Early Show."