There’s a chance that Florida’s bitter — and expensive — governor’s race between incumbent Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist could trigger a recount — a word that sends shudders through the state. Polls consistently show the contest between Scott and Crist tied, but if that sticks voting officials insist a recount would not be a replay of 2000, when the presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore was not decided until 36 days later as both sides battled in the courts over the state’s results. The U.S. Supreme Court halted an ongoing recount and Bush won Florida — and the presidency — by 537 votes.
The recount exposed the state’s voting procedures to criticism and widespread ridicule. It also triggered an overhaul of the state’s voting laws and machinery.
Mark Herron, one of the lawyers on the side of Vice President Gore, said there are major differences between how the state would handle a recount now.
“The rules are more structured and it’s easier to conduct a recount than it was previously,” Herron said. “But by the same token there’s a lot of faith in the machines now.”
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