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Thursday, 9 November, 2000, 03:50 GMT
Legal road to White House?
The recount at Fort Lauderdale is behind closed doors
The recount at Fort Lauderdale is behind closed doors
By Stephen Cviic in Washington

As the recount in Florida continues, there is been speculation that if Al Gore loses, the vice president may be able to challenge the result in the courts.

In a country as litigious as the United States, it is always dangerous to rule out a challenge in the courts, especially when one candidate may have reason for thinking that he has been treated unfairly.

Democrats in Palm Beach say the ballot there was laid out in a misleading way, causing some Gore supporters to vote for the Reform Party candidate, Pat Buchanan, by mistake.

Al Gore ponders the turmoil
Al Gore ponders the turmoil
Then there are the rather murkier allegations that some ballot boxes may have gone missing.

And finally there was the confusion caused by premature result calling on the part of the US television networks, though in fact this may have harmed Mr Bush more than Mr Gore.

The election in Florida is a state matter. The result has to be confirmed by the local election officer and a judge, so any challenge would have to start there, but it could eventually go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Both presidential candidates are probably waiting to see the result of the recount before they decide what to do.

But if he loses, Al Gore may feel he has more to gain by accepting defeat in a gracious manner.

He would retain credibility as the man who lost the electoral college and the presidency but won the popular vote.

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09 Nov 00 | Americas
Bush camp raises stakes
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