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Nevada Supreme Court certifies Bush's election

CARSON CITY (AP) – The state Supreme Court certified George W. Bush’s victory over Al Gore in Nevada – 49.5 percent to 46 percent – where President Clinton had won the last two presidential elections.

There was no arguing, no recounts but a bit of levity as the justices met with Secretary of State Dean Heller Friday to formally canvass the vote for the presidential, congressional and other state elections held Nov. 7.

They certified that Bush won 301,575 to 279,978 in a state where Clinton in 1992 became the first Democrat to win since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Nevada’s four electoral votes will be awarded to Bush formally in a Dec. 18 ceremony in the state Capitol. By state law, presidential electors in Nevada must vote for the person who had the most popular votes.

In certifying the election results, four Supreme Court justices simply listened and looked at pages of voter tallies as Heller read the results. The entire process took 30 minutes.

Justices listened solemnly until Heller recited the results for the races involving Supreme Court Justices Bob Rose and Myron Leavitt.

Both men were unopposed and drew more than 380,000 votes in winning their respective races.

”Not so fast,” Leavitt said.

”We want to savor this,” Rose added.

Leavitt, who twice lost to Rose in close races when both were seeking the same Supreme Court seat, said later that he has run opposed and unopposed.

”Unopposed is better,” he said. ”I will not ask for a recount.”

Heller said his staff checked and added voter results from the counties three or four times, using different people and computers, before giving the voter totals to the Supreme Court.

”We are fairly confident the numbers are accurate,” he said.

Heller added that four years ago – when the Supreme Court justices themselves read and then added tallies from election sheets from each county – they found only a one-vote discrepancy from secretary of state-calculated figures.

”I came in this morning and counted again to make sure,” he added.

Major race certified results:

– President: George W. Bush, 301,575 votes, or 49.49 percent; Al Gore, 279,978 votes, or 45.94 percent.

– U.S. Senate: John Ensign, 330,687 votes, or 55.04 percent; Ed Bernstein, 238,260 votes, or 39.66 percent.

– Congress, 1st District: Shelley Berkley, 118,469 votes, or 51.68 percent; Jon Porter, 101,276 votes, or 44.18 percent.

– Congress, 2nd District: Jim Gibbons, 229,608 votes, or 64.24 percent; Tierney Cahill, 106,379 votes, or 29.76 percent.

AP-WS-11-22-00 1406EST

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