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The Unhinged Election Of 2000 Essay

1202 words - 5 pages

Every four years, The United States holds an election in order to find the new president whom is to run the country. The elections are important to Americans because it can change the future for many generations. In 2000, the two candidates were: George W. Bush for the Republican Party and Al Gore, former vice president, for the Democratic Party. This Presidential Election was one of the most suspenseful and unclear presidential elections for more than a century. To make it even burrier than it already was, the media declared prematurely that Al Gore was the winner, then a few hours later that George Bush had won, and then retracted both statements before the election had even ended. ("The Stolen Presidential Elections.") The 2000 election would become the first election since 1888 where there was a difference between the popular vote and the electoral vote-- Vice President Al Gore leading Governor George W. Bush by a little over 500,000 votes while Governor George W. Bush leading Vice President Al Gore in the Electoral College by four votes (271-267). ("Bush v. Gore (2000).") For weeks after polls closed on November 7, it had been uncertain to the American public who had won the presidency. The election’s close margins and bitter words over the results led this controversy to the Supreme Court, respectively titled Bush v Gore; which was publicized with each man’s move, motivated voters to become better educated in the political process.
After losing Florida, a state that had enough electoral votes to determine the election, and the election itself by only about 1000 votes, Al Gore requested that there be a formal recount to the Circuit Court of Florida. This was allowed because of the Florida state law which stated an automatic recount when there are small margins (below 500). Gore and his campaign requested that the votes be counted by hand in four counties, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami Dade, and Volusia, however Bush filed against this. On December 8th, in Palm Beach, FL about 10,000 ballots were manually recounted because of problems with the electronic voting machines and ballots that were not properly punched. This made it hard to tell who the voter had cast their vote for, invalidating the results. The press highlighted this particular recount because of the punch card ballot irregularities, leading to what they named a “Hanging Chad,” or paper not fully punched out of the ballot. Also dramatized was the fact that George W. Bush’s brother, Jeb, was the governor of Florida at the time, and the media started questioning the integrity of the recount. (Toobin, Jeffrey.)
Florida’s Supreme Court stepped in and allowed a commencement of the recounts in the counties and later the entirety of the state. These led to Bush leading by less than 200 votes. Being pushed to name its electors, the Florida Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that machines where a presidential choice was unable to be deciphered, called under votes, would be hand counted and then...

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