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Broward vote counting delays stoke Nov. 4 fears

Worry that South Florida could once again keep the nation waiting to see who captures the Oval Office resurfaced Wednesday when Broward County officials took 21 hours to count all the precincts from Tuesday's woefully light primary.

The delay not only kept three hot-button races in limbo for nearly a day, it instantly rekindled memories of 2000, when hanging chads and ballot problems in Palm Beach County kept the nation on edge in Bush v. Gore.

This November, the heavily Democratic Broward County is expected to turn out in droves for nominee Barack Obama.

''Based on what you're seeing now, it's a good bet it will take even longer to count the ballots in November,'' said County Commissioner John Rodstrom, who didn't find out until late Wednesday afternoon that he had edged Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Carlton Moore by 144 votes.

The county said the new optical scan voting equipment worked fine, blaming the delay on a breakdown in transmitting results to election headquarters.

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