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Context of '7:30 am August 26, 2005: Florida Reports 1.2 Million Residents without Power'

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The Gore presidential campaign asks Leon County Circuit Court Judge N. Saunders Sauls to authorize an immediate recount of about 14,000 disputed “undervote” ballots. Instead of ordering an immediate recount, Sauls orders the disputed ballots, sample voting booths, and voting machines from Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties brought to his courtroom in Tallahassee by Friday, December 1—a total of 1.1 million ballots, posing a tremendous logistical challenge to election boards in the two counties. On November 30, a truck carrying more than 460,000 presidential ballots from Palm Beach County leaves on its way to Tallahassee as ordered by Sauls. On December 1, two more trucks carrying over 654,000 ballots begin the long drive to Tallahassee from Miami. On December 1, the Bush campaign asks Sauls to have another 1.2 million ballots trucked in from Volusia, Broward, and Pinellas Counties; Bush campaign spokesman Scott McClellan says, “We believe there were a number of illegal votes for Gore in those counties.” Sauls does not grant this request. The trial begins on December 2, with Gore’s lawyers arguing, “There is no reason to delay counting ballots even one day.” Bush’s lawyers advance a number of arguments against expediting or even conducting the recounts, including the position that the dispute is not between Bush and Gore, but between two disparate groups of Florida electors. Bush lawyers also say that Gore’s lawyers missed a 10-day deadline to file such challenges; manually recounting only some ballots is illegal; and the recounts the Gore campaign wants are “illegal, inappropriate, and manifestly unfair.” On December 4, Sauls rules against the Gore campaign (see 4:43 p.m. December 4, 2000). (Whitman et al. 12/13/2000; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 12/17/2000; Leip 2008; Guardian 11/30/2008; Guardian 12/1/2008)

Several counties anticipate issuing evacuation orders. Currently, Palm Beach plans to begin evacuations at 1:00 pm today. Voluntary and mandatory evacuations will begin in areas of Broward County, Martin County including the Barrier Islands, and low-lying areas of Miami-Dade County. (Florida 8/25/2005 pdf file)

Florida’s Situation Report this morning notes that seven counties are under evacuation orders. Forty-one shelters currently house 2,000 evacuees. Several counties have announced school closings, and 1.2 million customers have no power. (Florida 8/26/2005 pdf file)

Florida reports four confirmed fatalities because of Katrina. Over one million customers remain without power. Eleven shelters are housing 546 evacuees. (Florida 8/26/2005 pdf file)

Florida now has 11 confirmed Katrina-related fatalities. Less than 500,000 customers remain without power. Shelters now house approximately 100 evacuees. (Florida 8/28/2005 pdf file)

By this evening, 3,000 residents have sought refuge in 45 emergency shelters throughout Louisiana, according to Victor Howell of the Louisiana Capital Area Red Cross. The Red Cross is prepared to deploy 750 employees and volunteers from Louisiana, plus an additional 2,000 others from around the country. (Times-Picayune Blog 8/28/2005 Sources: Victor Howell) By early morning tomorrow, over 11,400 evacuees will be sheltered in more than 70 Red Cross facilities throughout the state. (Times-Picayune Blog 8/29/2005) A Louisiana Department of Social Services representative will report that an estimated 27,639 evacuees are in state and Red Cross shelters. (Times-Picayune Blog 8/29/2005)

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