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Palm Beach County has been one of the hottest litigation spots in the country this week. As of Friday afternoon, 13 different lawsuits had been filed in the County Courthouse stemming from the presidential election. The cases, the citizens who brought them, and the lawyers representing these citizens are a varied lot. Many of the cases fall into one category: Palm Beach voters asking for the court to declare the Palm Beach ballot illegal and confusing, and call for a revote in the county. Those cases, so far, are: Fladell v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board; Horowitz v. LePore; Elkin v. LePore; Rogers v. The Elections Canvassing Commission of the State of Florida; HABIL v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board; Lichtman v. Bush; and Green v. LePore. Each case has a different set of lawyers, makes subtly different arguments, and relies on slightly different evidence. Rogers, for one, has relied the most on statistical data to demonstrate problems with the Palm Beach ballots. The team of Fort Lauderdale lawyers working on that case have six statisticians they hope to bring as witnesses. The HABIL case is also fairly unique because it is brought on behalf of a number of Haitian Americans who say they were particularly impacted by the confusing design of the ballot because many of them are first-time voters. The HABIL case asks that if a revote is not possible, that the court instead direct the Florida electoral college members to vote for Gore. Gibbs v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board and Adrien v. Department of Elections are both cases in which the citizens bringing the suits are representing themselves. Both suits seek revotes in Palm Beach County. Gibbs is a class action filing, and in addition to seeking a new vote, the group of voters filing the case are asking for $250,000 in declaratory and injunctive relief. Crum v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board and Gottfried v. LePorte (sic) are pro se cases seeking to stop hand recounts in Palm Beach county and have the results of the machine vote certified. The Florida Democratic Party v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board was one case that actually got resolved early in the week. The Democrats were asking that “voters’ intent” be considered in counting ballots in Palm Beach County, and as such, that dimpled chads be counted in the hand recounts. Judge Jorge Labarga found that the Palm Beach regulations refusing to count dimpled ballots appeared to violate the law and that the canvassing board had the right to assess these ballots. Rhodes v. Harris is another Palm Beach voter case, but the case asks only that a hand recount be conducted and that those results count for the final tally of the county’s election results. It does not seek a revote or a declaration that the ballots are illegal. Boswell v. Bush was filed Thursday. Brought pro se by a resident of Texas and West Palm Beach, the suit also seeks a Palm Beach revote. But the suit is pretty wide-ranging, accusing George Bush of misconduct in several matters not related to the Florida recount, such as retaliating against a whistleblower on the state of Texas’ payroll.

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