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Judge orders Florida’s military votes counted

Dec. 9, 2000: WND was first among the American media to report the judicial reinstatement of many previously disqualified military absentee ballots in Florida.

“It is truly an unfortunate circumstance when a citizen of the United States is denied the fundamental right to vote, whether residing in one of the several states or residing overseas,” U.S. District Judge Lacey Collier wrote in his ruling. “It is even more unfortunate when a vote cast by a member of the armed forces serving abroad is rejected for no legitimate or compelling reason.”

“It is unfortunate that Florida will accept an overseas absentee ballot with an unsworn, handwritten date, yet questions the oath, under penalty of perjury, of many of its service men and women,” Collier said. “The Court reminds the local canvassing boards … that their job is to accept votes, not reject them.”

According to unofficial tallies, 1,547 overseas absentee ballots – about 40 percent of the total Florida received – were thrown out by county elections workers.

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