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McBride's Lead Over Reno Less After Recheck

September 16, 2002|From Associated Press

MIAMI — Bill McBride's lead over Janet Reno in Florida's Democratic gubernatorial primary has dwindled to 5,685 votes, according to numbers released Sunday by both campaigns.

Reno and McBride campaign officials said they learned the former U.S. attorney general has picked up 2,511 votes in Miami-Dade County based on rechecked ballots cast in precincts that had technical problems.

In the state's unofficial totals, McBride held a 8,196-vote lead, a larger margin than the half a percentage point that was necessary to trigger a statewide recount.

Even if the new vote totals were to bring Reno within that margin, there is no provision to trigger a recount after unofficial totals are tallied.

Secretary of State Jim Smith said the winner would be the leading vote-getter after votes are tabulated Tuesday and certified by Wednesday's deadline; that means Reno's only chance of winning would be to overtake McBride outright before then.

That appears difficult for Reno. Fewer votes were expected from Broward County, the only place left expected to turn up a significant number of new votes.

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