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Text: Bush Campaign Chairman Don Evans
Thursday, November 16, 2000

Following is the transcript of Bush campaign chairman Don Evans's press conference.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

DON EVANS: First, we believe this election must be fair. That is why we have supported the automatic recount of all the votes in Florida.

Everyone in Florida has had his or her vote counted once. Those votes have been recounted two or three times. In some places, they have been recounted even a fourth time.

Second, the process must be accurate. Yet, as we watch events unfold, it is clear that this selective manual recount is not accurate, nor can it be accurate. The more these punch cards are handled, the more errors we see. Last night in Broward County, as these ballots were passed from hand to hand, 78 pieces of chad were dislodged from the very ballots that were being counted. How can a manual recount be accurate when the ballots themselves are changing before our very eyes?

Third, the process must have a point of conclusion. It is not up to our campaign or the Gore campaign to determine when this point shall be. It is written in the laws of our land. It is written in the laws of each state. We believe these deadlines must be respected.

The deadline to conclude the election in Iowa is at 5:00 tomorrow evening--this evening. With 1.3 million votes cast, Governor Bush trails by a very narrow three-tenths of 1 percent. Many of our supporters who worked hard for a Bush victory have urged us to contest this result.

Those recommendations are heartfelt and appreciated, but to do his part to ensure the fairness, accuracy and finality of this election, Governor Bush has decided our campaign will not seek a recount of the close vote in Iowa.

Both sides waged vigorous campaigns in Iowa, the results are exceptionally close, but Governor Bush believes the time has arrived for our nation to begin the process of moving forward.

A concluding deadline arrives tomorrow night at midnight in Florida, as the final votes come in from the overseas ballots. Once these votes are counted, we will know the final result of Florida's election and the nation's election. Win or lose, this election will be over.

For the sake of our country and so that we can begin to unite our nation, tomorrow's deadline must be honored.

Thank you very much. God bless all of you.


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