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Florida 2000
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Text: Volusia County Spokesman
Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Following are excerpts of Dave Byron, a spokesman for Volusia County, Florida, on his country's progress in hand recounting votes.


BYRON: Of course, perhaps the biggest decision will be made this morning up in Tallahassee in the circuit court lawsuit that we filed yesterday. That, of course, will give us some direction as to whether we will be granted an extension from this 5 p.m. deadline. So what I'm saying to you, obviously, could change as a result of that decision.

Right now, of course, we are proceeding as though we are going to meet the 5 p.m. deadline and that we have to meet the 5 p.m. deadline. And there's a lot of work to be done.

I am here to tell you that we need the extension. We need the extension. There are a lot of things to be done beyond just the issuance and completion of the precinct tally sheets that we've been giving out to the public throughout this process.

The canvassing board has somewhere in the neighborhood of a little more than a 100--100 absentee ballots that are in the so-called questionable category. And that, as we've been saying right along, is those ballots where the canvassing board has to determine voter intent. So there's a little more than 100 of those to go through. The canvassing board is doing that this morning, and I don't believe it will be a terribly long time before they complete that process.

There are other things that have to be done, however. Many of you here this morning know that we brought a voting machine over to the county administration center, where the count is taking place. And we ran the ballots through the voting machine from Precinct 305 in DeBary, Florida. And that was the precinct where we had the problem with the 320 votes that were not picked up until the manual recount process. So that's being done. I don't have any results of that, because it's still being done. I believe there are 1,369 votes in that precinct. So that's taking place.

Meanwhile, the parties have selected a number of precincts, and I don't know the exact number, but they've selected a number of precincts where they're looking at the tape totals from the precincts and matching that with the master sheet.

And they're particularly looking for reconciliation on the number of votes issue--votes issued--ballots issued, I should say--the number of ballots issued, the number of ballots cast and the number of ballots that go into the spoiled category. Spoiled would be as if the voter changed their mind or for some other reason they were spoiled, and those are counted out separately. And they're trying to determine whether those numbers reconcile with each other. And I don't know whether they do or they don't. So that's taking place.

Another step in this process is that these precinct sheets that are recorded on Election Night in the precincts, basically the reports that are kept by the precinct workers have to be looked at, because that will have an explanation if there is a difference during the reconciliation process. So that has to be done.

So there are a lot of steps in this process, and we have a lot of work to do today.

When I left here last night at about midnight, I talked with the supervisor of elections, and it was her opinion that we were going to have a very difficult time in completing all of the steps in the process by 5 p.m. today.

So, again, Volusia County's unequivocal position is we need the extension that we hope the judge grants in circuit court this morning.

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