A single standard for the counties to use in

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a single standard for the counties to use in determining whether a ballot should be in- cluded or not. OK, Lewis asked, so what should the standard be? Beck said there couldn't be a single standard, because that would be chang- ing the rules in_ the middle of the game. The Bush position was a per- fect circle. There must be a standard, but there was no way there could be a standard. Undeterred,_ Lewis came up with a plan. Shortly before midnight · on Friday night, Lewis said that vote counting would commence in the Leon County public library on Saturday morning at eight. (Many · of the ballots had already been transferred to Tallahassee.) All other THE NINE 161 counties were to send · him a plan by noon. All counting was . to be completed in a little more than a day, by two on Sunday afternoon, December 10. Lewis would remain in his office throughout the week- end to settle any disputes. By dawn on Saturday, something remarkable was occurring .. Working through the night, both the Gore and Bush campaigns had assembled and sent teams to each of the state's counties to monitor the vote counting. Across the state so many judges volunteered that Lewis was able to use them to replace all the county workers who had been planning co supervise the counting. At 9:51 a.m., the chief judge ad- ministered an oath to the vote counters in the Tallahassee library. At 10:07 a.m., the counting began. There were four tables, with two · j:udges at each one. Before chem were five boxes, each with a different . marking: BUSH, GORE, OTHER, NO VOTE, CONTESTED. (Judge Lewis ·· would review the ballots in the last box.) Similar scenes were taking place all over the state. From the beginning, the core of tlie Bush argument was that th~ Florida Supreme Court had created an anarchic mess in an effort to let the Democrats steal the election. But on Saturday morning, judges and county workers of all political persuasions were refuting that proposition. Quietly, efficiently-to be sure, imperfectly-they looked at the ballots and counted the votes. By noon that day, Terry Lewis's deadline of the following afternoon looked like a reasonable · target for completing the recount.· · :, As it· happened, one of O'Connor's clerks-one of the few who had ' · good relations with both his conservative and .his liberal c.0lleagues- : was throwing a party on Friday night at a bar in the Adams Morgan /: neighborhood of Washington. Many law clerks stopped in for a few t_drinks before returning to work to read Bush's brief; which they knew t '. would be coming. . ) :. Back at the Court, alcohol made a contentious environment even }:_"Inore volatile. In the chambers of the conservatives, there was a- raw, \~onsuming anger at the Florida Supreme Court. The justices in (,rallahassee had never respo~ded to the questions that the justices in f\Vashi_ngton had asked in their Palm Beach opinion of December 4.
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  • One '14
  • History, Supreme Court of the United States, United States Supreme Court, Bush v. Gore

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Christopher Reinemann
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