Broward County Hand Recount Continues

By Scott Hogenson | July 7, 2008 | 8:27 PM EDT

( - Local election officials in Broward County, Florida Friday continued a hand recount of some 1,700 questionable ballots from the November 7 presidential election.

While the examination of ballots was going on inside the courthouse, Republican protesters gathered outside, brandishing Bush-Cheney and 'Sore-Loserman' signs, and chanting their disapproval of the continuing recount.

Later in the day, angry Democratic protesters arrived to counter Republican demonstrations, with some accusing GOP partisans of trying to intimidate the ballot counters inside the courthouse.

Democrat Al Gore picked up an estimated 88 additional votes following the initial hand count of ballots, which was overshadowed at times by disagreements over what constitutes a legitimate vote.

A state court decision earlier in the week did not specify what criteria should be applied in determining the intent of the voter, leaving the matter up to the interpretation of local officials.

The practice drew fire Friday from Republicans, who denounced the subjective recount in light of the exclusion of military ballots from abroad.

Gulf War veteran Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN) Buyer said Democratic election officials have "been counting hanging chads, swinging chads and pregnant chads. But if it's Sergeant Chad who's in the DMZ in Korea, then that vote doesn't count."

In Palm Beach County, members of the canvassing board spent Friday peering at questionable ballots there, attempted to determine the intent of voters there. In both Palm Beach and Broward counties, Democrats hold majorities on the local election boards.