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DECISION 2000 / AMERICA WAITS

Excerpts of Harris' Remarks on Florida Vote Certification

November 27, 2000|From the Associated Press

These are excerpts from the certification of the Florida presidential vote Sunday evening, as transcribed by EMediaMillWorks Inc. Speakers are Katherine Harris, Florida secretary of state, and Bob Crawford, Florida Election Canvassing Commission member.

Katherine Harris: . . . It was and it remains my opinion that the appropriate deadlines for filing certified returns in this election are those mandated by the Legislature. And it remains my opinion that the proper returns in this election are the returns that were certified by those deadlines.

The Florida Supreme Court, however, disagrees. The court created a new schedule for filing certifications and conducting election contests rather than implementing the schedule enacted by the Legislature, and that is the schedule that we're following tonight.

Prior to certification, there's one matter I wish to discuss concerning the returns. In accordance with the direction of the Supreme Court, my office accepted amended returns until 5 p.m. today, and these amendments are reflected in the statewide canvass returns, copies of which will be available.

Palm Beach County has submitted a document that purports to be an amended return, but contains two different compilations of the presidential vote.

One set of numbers is identified as a partial--one set of numbers is identified as [a] partial manual recount that fails to comply with the provisions of Section 102.166.

The other set of numbers is identified as the machine count required by law in this election, and these numbers are identical to those that were certified by the Palm Beach County canvassing board on Nov. 14.

These latter numbers are the numbers included in the statewide canvass. Copies of the Palm Beach County document are also, will also be, made available.

(Signing of certification documents)

The certified result in the presidential race in Florida is as follows: Gov. George W. Bush, 2,912,790; Vice President Al Gore, 2,912,253.

Accordingly, on behalf of the state Elections Canvassing Commission and in accordance with the laws of the state of Florida, I hereby declare Gov. George W. Bush the winner of Florida's 25 electoral votes for the president for the United States.

Bob Crawford: . . . This has been a tough election. It has not always been pretty. But we got the job done, and we got it done right. People call me and say--particularly from out of state--and say what's going on down in Florida, and I have to keep reminding people, the only thing that's going on here is that we've got a razor-thin election for the most important job in the world. And that's all it is.

After all the jokes, after all of the anguish, we've just got a close election. And any state that had to go through this would've had the same problems, I think, that we have had.

But I think it's over. It should be over. And maybe that's the important word there, "should." You know, Yogi Berra once said, "It's not over till it's over." Well, it's over, and we have a winner, and it's time to move on.

There's one thing that I am sure of, and that is both sides have enough legal talent to keep this tied up through Christmas. But one thing the lawyers can't do for us and one thing the courts can't do for us: They can't bring this country together again.

And while we have a winner tonight and we have a loser tonight, it's going to take both of these gentlemen to bring this country together again, and I hope we can get on with that work soon.

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