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Presidential battle not over yet

The Associated Press

After a week of suspense, a fistful of lawsuits and thousands of ballots counted, counted again, then recounted by hand, George W.

Wednesday, November 15, 2000

After a week of suspense, a fistful of lawsuits and thousands of ballots counted, counted again, then recounted by hand, George W. Bush clings to a tenuous 300-vote lead over Al Gore in Florida’s decisive presidential election. But the outcome remains uncertain in a struggle still careening through the courts.

Of the counties where the Gore campaign has sought complete hand recounts, officials in Volusia County had completed them as of Tuesday night; Democratic party officials said they went to court seeking to force a recount in Broward County; and Miami-Dade voted Tuesday night not to honor the request, although officials said the Gore campaign hoped to overturn that refusal, as well. Palm Beach County officials stood ready to launch a full manual recount this morning.

The politics were intense, the legal maneuvering no less so, since the winner of Florida stands to gain an Electoral College majority and take the oath of office Jan. 20 as the nation’s 43rd president.

In a fast-paced series of developments Tuesday, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris announced that Bush, the GOP presidential candidate, officially held a lead of 300 votes over the vice president out of about 6 million cast, according to totals submitted by all 67 counties in response to her 5 p.m. deadline. An unknown number of absentee ballots remained to be counted by Friday midnight, Harris said.