Recount Resumes in Miami-Dade County

July 7, 2008 - 7:27 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Election officials in Miami, Florida, are planning a hand recount of that county's estimated 650,000 ballots cast in the November 7 presidential elections Monday, further muddying the outcome of that state's pivotal election results.

Miami-Dade County officials Saturday said the recount is expected to take 10 days, with vote counters working in shifts and taking a day off on Thanksgiving. Initial vote tallies in Miami-Dade County gave Gore a lead of roughly 39,000 votes.

But the importance of the recount is questionable because of a scheduled hearing in Florida's Supreme Court, which may render the recount moot.

The state's justices are scheduled to hear oral arguments by lawyers for the campaigns of George W. Bush and Al Gore at 2:00 p.m. EST Monday as to whether ballots submitted after a statutory deadline may be included in the final vote tally.

Florida law says that all election results with the exception of overseas ballots were to have been certified by 5:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 14.

Those overseas ballots were counted Saturday, with the overall, unofficial results giving Bush a 926-vote lead state-wide over Gore.

But a November 17 ruling by the high court prevented Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris from certifying the results on Saturday as she had earlier planned to do.

Over the weekend, additional re-counts were underway in Palm Beach and Broward counties.

Should the state supreme court rule that Harris does not have to consider ballots submitted after the statutory November 14 deadline, the final tally in Miami-Dade County might be immaterial in the ultimate certification of the election.