Court Won’t Order Dade Recount
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.(AP) _ The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday refused to order Miami-Dade County officials to resume a handcount of presidential election ballots, dealing a blow to Al Gore’s efforts to cut into George W. Bush’s lead in the state.
Gore had asked the court in an emergency Thanksgiving Day appeal to restart ballot counting in the county, which they said was ``being frustrated by a deliberate campaign of delay and intimidation of local officials.″
``The writ is denied without prejudice. No motion for rehearing is allowed,″ the court said in a statement read by spokesman Craig Waters.
The court’s action means the lawyers can refile on different legal grounds or can take their case to another court.
The justices conferred by conference call, interrupting their Thanksgiving holiday to consider the petition by the Democratic presidential candidate.
Miami-Dade, the largest county in the state, suspended a full manual recount after the Florida court set a Sunday deadline for counties to report adjusted vote totals.
Requesting court action, Gore’s campaign said in its filing, ``Determining the will of the voters cannot be frustrated by the whim of local officials.″
Bush campaign spokeswoman Mindy Tucker brushed off the Gore appeal. ``The court has already extended the statutory deadline for an additional 12 days, and now Al Gore wants them to extend it yet again. It seems Al Gore wants the court to keep extending the deadline until he can count the votes enough times to change the result.″