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Jeb Bush Wants Future Voting Probe

December 8, 2000

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ With his state’s presidential election still unsettled a month later, Gov. Jeb Bush wants to create a special panel to study Florida’s voting procedures.

Bush said he wants to work with House Speaker Tom Feeney and Senate President John McKay to create a task force that would suggest new ways to count votes and to study whether election supervisors ``should have unbridled flexibility as they do now.″

``The focus of the task force is to look at the process of counting votes,″ he said Wednesday.

Bush’s brother, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, has been certified the winner in Florida by 537 votes. But Al Gore is challenging that win.

The Florida Supreme Court is weighing arguments in Gore’s appeal, while the Republican-controlled Legislature under Feeney and McKay is considering naming its own slate of electors to ensure George W. Bush wins.

And several courts are considering lawsuits alleging that ballots confused voters, thousands of votes were uncounted because punch card ballots didn’t completely punch through and Republicans tampered with absentee ballot applications.

Liz Hirst, a Bush’s spokeswoman, said the administration is ``putting out feelers″ to potential panelists, including retiring U.S. Sen. Connie Mack, R-Fla. Bush wants the panel to make its recommendations before March.

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