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Text: Jesse L. Jackson on the Recount
Thursday, November 9, 2000

Following are excerpts of a rally and news conference by the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson on the election process in Florida.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

JACKSON: While there is, over and over again, a call for a recount, in West Palm there must be a first count.

(APPLAUSE)

We find, around the state, various irregularities that undercut the credibility of a great election, a great campaign by two worthy opponents. In democracy, everybody counts, every vote must count. And to this point, we do not know who won the election, because all the votes have not been counted.

(APPLAUSE)

And once all the votes are counted, then we must honor and respect the winner. The winner must win with grace, the loser must be magnanimous. But we do not know who won or lost, because we do not yet have a fair count on the first vote.

(APPLAUSE)

We know the people stood in long lines, and polls closed on them before they had a chance to vote. According to the law, if you're in line and the polls close, all those in line must be counted.

(APPLAUSE)

We know many Haitian-Americans were denied assistance in the voting booth, which they can expect and accept by law. We know in some instances there was a shortage of ballots. People did short the vote. And their votes must be counted.

(APPLAUSE)

We do know in West Palm, people pushed the lever, as it were, for Gore, and they got Buchanan.

(AUDIENCE BOOING)

Even Buchanan rejects votes he did not earn.

(APPLAUSE)

Buchanan said he did not campaign here, he did not really seek votes here. He believed that those votes he got were based upon a mal-alignment in the process. If you're driving your car down the road and your wheels are not aligned properly, you have a wreck.

(APPLAUSE)

And on Tuesday, there was a wreck in West Palm Beach.

(APPLAUSE)

This ballot is fuzzy. It is deceptive. But, my friends, if we remain disciplined and focused then we win because we voted.

(APPLAUSE)

I'm impressed with this coalition. Here we stand in multiracial, multicultural, American, one-big-tent coalition.

(APPLAUSE)

The good news in West Palm, the issue here today is not about black and white, it's about wrong and right.

(APPLAUSE)

(END AUDIO FEED)


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