USA 2000 Election

USA 2000 Election

The 2000 US election resulted in the election of George W. Bush as president. The contest between Bush and Democratic candidate Al Gore was close and controversial, ending with an input by the Supreme Court.

The presidential election of 2000 rested on the outcome in Florida - a swing state in which neither party had overwhelming support. Uncertainty surrounding the election results continued for weeks. At first the television networks reported that Al Gore had carried the state, but it was soon declared “too close to call”. SHortly after, the networks declared George Bush the winner.

Florida electors were unable to commit themselves to either Bush or Gore owing to the closeness of the vote. Chaos erupted as recounts were started, then stopped as Republicans and Democrats wrangled over what standards to apply. In the end, it took five weeks to declare a winner.

Vice President Al Gore carried the East and West Coasts and inland industrial cities, while Texas Governor George W. Bush won much of the Midwest and Plains, as well as the South. Gore won 500,000 more votes than Bush, but Gore lost the Electoral College when he lost Florida. Bush's official margin in Florida was by 537 votes.

With the presidency hanging on a few hundred votes in one state, Americans, as well as Al Gore, demanded recounts and action from the Supreme Court. There were controversies surrounding confusing ballots, names missing from the electoral roll, and punch card ballots that were vulnerable to voter error.

Gore formally contested the certified results, but a state court decision overruling Gore was reversed by the Florida Supreme Court, which ordered a recount of over 70,000 ballots previously rejected by machine counters. The U.S. Supreme Court quickly halted that order the next day with the concurring opinion that a recount of votes "of questionable legality does [...] threaten irreparable harm" to Bush as "each manual recount produces a degradation of the ballots."

A narrow majority of the Justices said that the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court violated the principle that “all votes must be treated equally.” It also ruled that there was not enough time to conduct a new count that would meet constitutional muster.

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MLA Citation/Reference

"USA 2000 Election". 2023. Web.