Palm Beach ballot: was it legal?
Some Relevant Excerpts From the 2000 Florida Statutes
Title IX Electors And Elections
Chapter 101, Voting Methods And Procedure:101.011 Voting by paper ballot
(4) If the elector marks more names than there are persons to be elected to an office, or if it is impossible to determine the elector's choice, his or her ballot shall not be counted for the office; but this shall not vitiate the ballot as to those names which are properly marked, and nothing in this code shall be construed to prevent any elector, at any general election, from voting for any qualified candidate other than one whose name is printed on the ballot.
There were two persons to be elected, so two marks may be allowable (president and vice president)!
Also: this does NOT apply since this isn't a paper ballot.101.151 Specifications for general election ballot
(3)(b) Immediately following the name of each office on the ballot shall be printed, "Vote for One." When more than one candidate is nominated for office, the candidates for such office shall qualify and run in a group or district, and the group or district number shall be printed beneath the name of the office. The name of the office shall be printed over each numbered group or district and each numbered group or district shall be clearly separated from the next numbered group or district, the same as in the case of single offices. Following the group or district number shall be printed the words, "Vote for One," and the names of the candidates in the respective groups or districts shall be arranged thereunder.
Argument: "Vote for One" not "Vote for Group" shall be printed on
Section 101.191 is the applicable section, and it does say "vote for Group" !!!! (see link below)102.166 Protest of election returns; procedure
(5) If the manual recount indicates an error in the vote tabulation which could affect the outcome of the election, the county canvassing board shall:
(a) Correct the error and recount the remaining precincts with the vote tabulation system;
(b) Request the Department of State to verify the tabulation software; or
(c) Manually recount all ballots.
So, Manually recount all ballots.
(7) Procedures for a manual recount are as follows:
(a) The county canvassing board shall appoint as many counting teams of at least two electors as is necessary to manually recount the ballots. A counting team must have, when possible, members of at least two political parties. A candidate involved in the race shall not be a member of the counting team.
And, appoint as many counting teams as is necessary.
Chapter 102, Conducting Elections And Ascertaining The Results102.168 Contest of election
(3) The complaint shall set forth the grounds on which the contestant intends to establish his or her right to such office or set aside the result of the election on a submitted referendum. The grounds for contesting an election under this section are:
(a) Receipt of a number of illegal votes or rejection of a number of legal votes sufficient to change or place in doubt the result of the election.
A number of legal votes sufficient place in doubt the result of the election were rejected.102.1682 Judgment of ouster; revocation of commission; judgment setting aside referendum
(1) If the contestant is found to be entitled to the office, if on the findings a judgment to that effect is entered, and if the adverse party has been commissioned or has entered upon the duties thereof or is holding the office, then a judgment of ouster shall be entered against such party. Upon presentation of a certified copy of the judgment of ouster to the Governor, the Governor shall revoke such commission and commission the person found in the judgment to be entitled to the office.
Jeb Bush may be required to declare Al Gore the President.
Q: Does the ballot have to say "vote for one"?
A: It has to be substantially in the form shown in the law
The general election ballot shall be in substantially the following form:
(A vote for the candidates will actually be a vote for their electors)
Q: Does the election law address multi-punched ballots?
A: No. See 'Tabulation of votes and proclamation of results where ballots are used." at
The procedure under a manual recount is
"b) If a counting team is unable to determine a voter's intent in casting a ballot, the ballot shall be presented to the county canvassing board for it to determine the voter's intent" as specified in " Protest of election returns; procedure" at
The rules for contest are found at:
Grounds for contesting an election include (among others)
"(c) Receipt of a number of illegal votes or rejection of a number of legal votes sufficient to change or place in doubt the result of the election." or
"(e) Any other cause or allegation which, if sustained, would show that a person other than the successful candidate was the person duly nominated or elected to the office in question or that the outcome of the election on a question submitted by referendum was contrary to the result declared by the canvassing board or election board."
The relief which may be granted in a contest is as follows:
"8) The circuit judge to whom the contest is presented may fashion such orders as he or she deems necessary to ensure that each allegation in the complaint is investigated, examined, or checked, to prevent or correct any alleged wrong, and to provide any relief appropriate under such circumstances."
The Florida Election law and procedures can be found at: