Center Of The Storm

Pakistani vendors sell heart-shaped balloons on Valentines Day in Karachi, Feb. 14, 2007. A number of shopping centers in Pakistan are full of gifts including cards, stuffed toys, chocolates and miscellaneous items for the holiday. Valentine's Day, which is named after a Christian patron saint for lovers, has gained popularity in Muslim-dominated Pakistan over the past few years. ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images

Duane Grigg was sitting in front of his television in North Carolina Thursday afternoon watching the controversy over Florida's electoral votes unfold.

By midnight, he was checking into a Palm Beach hotel to see the historic moment firsthand.

"I know without any question that it was history in the making," the 32-year-old manufacturing employee from Charlotte said as he slung his gym bag over his shoulder and headed to his hotel room Thursday. "And I felt Palm Beach County was the epicenter of that history."

Grigg joined a minor multitude that has converged on this southeast Florida coastal city.

CBS News Correspondent Bobbi Harley reports that throngs of protesters are claiming the ballot in Palm Beach was unclear, if not illegal.

One voter, Ron Lichman, said the "statute section 101 of the Florida voting method indicates that the punch holes or the check marks" on a ballot "should all be on the right side" - not on both sides as it was in Palm Beach.

But GOP officials in the state are saying both parties approved the ballot before the election.

But that is not stopping protesters from demanding a re-vote.

Crowds of mostly Gore supporters began gathering before noon Thursday at the Palm Beach County Governmental Center, where the Rev. Jesse Jackson led a rally demanding a new election in the county.

Inside the low-slung concrete building, an embattled county canvassing board was trying to decide how to respond to complaints that some 19,000 ballots were thrown out because more than one presidential candidate was selected.

The streets outside the government building had the air of a carnival, with hot-dog vendors vying with up to 1,000 sign-carrying protesters for space. By midnight, just a few dozen remained.

Doris Church, who turns 82 on Friday, sat in a wheelchair with an oxygen tube in her nose, chewing on ice chips to ward off the heat. Her granddaughter, Tracy Hill, held a sign that read: "My grandmother deserves a revote."

Church, who has a master's degree and taught high school and college, said she realized after voting that she had messed up her ballot.

"I'm not a dummy," she said, gasping for breath. "I don't have my body, but I have my brains."

Later in the evening, down the highway in Riviera Beach, Jackson held sway at the New Macedonia Baptist Church, leading hundreds in a gathering that was part prayer revival, part pep rally.

The red-cushioned pews were filled, and every aisle of the small stucco church was lined with folding chairs. Jackson, standing before a blue-tiled baptismal trough, invoked the spirits of many who died fighting for civil rights.

"For so long, we marched and bled for the right to vote," Jackson roared. "The same people who fought for it and died for it are begging for it to be applied."

  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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