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  Wikipedia: U.S. presidential election, 2000

Wikipedia: U.S. presidential election, 2000
U.S. presidential election, 2000
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Presidential CandidateElectoral Vote Popular Vote Pct Party Running Mate
(Electoral Votes)
George W. Bush of Texas (W) 271 50,456,002 47.87 Republican Richard Cheney of Wyoming (271)
Al Gore of Tennessee 266 50,999,897 48.38 Democrat Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut (266)
Ralph Nader of Connecticut 0 2,882,955 2.74 Green Winona LaDuke of Minnesota (0)
Patrick J. Buchanan of Virginia 0 448,895 0.42 Reform Ezola Foster of California (0)
Harry Browne of Tennessee 0 384,431 0.36 Libertarian Art Olivier of California (0)
Howard Phillips of Virginia 0 98,020 0.09 Constitution J. Curtis Frazier of Missouri (0)
John Hagelin of Iowa 0 83,714 0.08 Natural Law/Reform Nat Goldhaber of California (0)
Other 0 51,186 0.05
''No electoral vote cast (DC) 1
Total 538 105,405,100 100.00
Detailed results by state: see U.S. presidential election, 2000 (detail)
Other elections: 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012
Sources: U.S. Office of the Federal Register (electoral vote), Federal Election Commission (popular vote)

The election for President of the United States in 2000 was one of the closest elections in the history of the United States, contested primarily by then Governor of Texas George W. Bush (Republican), and then Vice President Al Gore (Democrat). The election took over a month to resolve, highlighted by premature declaration of a winner on election night, and an extremely close result in the state of Florida. Florida's 25 electoral votes ultimately decided the election by a razor thin margin of actual votes, and was certified only after numerous court challenges and recounts. Al Gore publicly conceded the election after the Supreme court, in the case Bush v. Gore, voted 7-2 to declare the recount procedure in process unconstitutional because it was not being carried out statewide and 5-4 to ban further recounts using other procedures. Gore strongly disagreed with the court's decision, but decided that "for the sake of our unity of the people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession." He had previously made a concession phone call to Bush the night of the election, but quickly retracted it after learning just how close the election was. Following the election, a subsequent recount conducted by various U.S. news media organizations indicated that Bush would still have won the popular vote in Florida had the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the recounts to proceed using the process requested by Gore, although some different methods of counting votes would have resulted in victory for Gore.

The Florida election has been closely scutinized since the election, and several irregularities are thought to have favored Bush. These included the notorious Palm Beach "butterfly ballot", which produced an unexpectedly large number of votes for third-party candidate Patrick Buchanan, and a purge of some 50,000 alleged felons from the Florida voting rolls that included many voters who were eligible to vote under Florida law. Some commentators still consider such irregularities and the legal maneuvering around the recounts to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the vote, but as a matter of law the issue was settled when the United States Congress accepted Florida's electoral delegation. Nonetheless, embarrassment about the Florida vote uncertainties led to widespread calls for electoral reform in the United States, and ultimately to the passage of the Help America Vote Act, which authorized the United States federal government to provide funds to the states to replace their mechanical voting equipment with electronic voting equipment. However, this has led to new controversies, because of the security weaknesses of the computer systems, the lack of paper-based methods of secure verification, and the necessity to rely on the trustworthiness of the manufacturers.

Primaries

See: US presidential primaries of 2000

Overview, and timeline (election day and beyond)

The 2000 Presidential election was one of the closest elections in the history of the United States. Other close elections include the elections of 1800, 1876, 1916, 1960, 1968, and 1976.

The results of the November 7 election were not known for more than a month after the election, because the counting and recounting of Florida presidential ballots, which swung the election, extended for more than a month. The Florida vote was the closest of all of the states and state law provided for an automatic recount due to the small difference, and there were general concerns about the fairness and accuracy of the voting process, especially since a small change in the vote count could change the result. The final (and disputed) official Florida count gave the victory to Bush by 537 votes.

The Democratic Party lodged a dispute over the state's election results requesting that disputed ballots in three heavily-Democratic counties be counted by hand. During the recounting process, the Bush campaign hired George H. W. Bush's former Secretary of State James Baker to oversee the legal process, and the Gore campaign hired Bill Clinton's former Secretary of State Warren Christopher. Numerous local court rulings went both ways, some ordering recounts because the vote was so close and others declaring that a selective manual recount in a few heavily-Democratic counties would be unfair. Eventually, the Gore campaign appealed to the Florida Supreme Court whose liberal judges ordered that the recounting process proceed. The Bush campaign subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States which took up the case Bush v. Gore on December 1. On December 4, the court nullified the decision of the Florida Supreme Court saying that the court's decision to bypass state election laws, which stated that results had to be certified by a certain date, was dubious at best saying that there was "considerable uncertainty" as to the precise grounds for their ruling.

Early in the afternoon of December 12, the Republican-dominated Florida House of Representatives voted nearly on party lines to certify the state's electors for Bush. Later that afternoon, the Florida Supreme Court upheld lower court rulings authorizing recounts in several south Florida counties.

All the lower court rulings became moot when around 10pm on December 12, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down two decisions in favor of Bush, the critical one 7-2 and the other 5-4, effectively ending the election. The court's majority cited differing vote-counting standards from county to county and the lack of a single judicial officer to oversee the recount, both of which, it ruled, violated the equal-protection clause of the United States Constitution, and so any recount could not be completed in a constitutional manner.

At 9pm on December 13, in a nationally televised address, Gore conceded that he lost his bid for the presidency. He asks his supporters to support Bush, saying, "This is America, and we put country before party." During his speech, Gore's family and Joe and Hadassah Lieberman stood quietly nearby.

Texas Governor George W. Bush became President-elect and began forming his transition committee. Bush tried to reach across party lines and bridge a divided America, stating that "the president of the United States is the president of every single American, of every race and every background." Bush took the oath of office on January 20, 2001.

The U.S. Electoral College vote was so close that a shift from Bush to Gore in almost any state won by Bush would have swung the election to Gore (271 Electoral College votes for Bush and 266 for Gore).

Vice President Al Gore came in second even though he received a larger number of popular votes (Gore got 500,000 more popular votes than Bush) and this contributed to the controversy of the election. This was at least the fourth time that a candidate who did not receive a plurality of the popular vote received a majority of the electoral college vote, the first time probably being in the 1824 elections although popular vote records do not exist for earlier elections. Until this election, the 1876 elections had been the most contentious in U.S. history. However, it should be pointed out that if the American system were based on the popular vote, rather than the electoral college, then the turnout of voters would have been different. Voter turnout in states that favor one party heavily tends to be lower. Because of this, the popular vote cannot be used to predict who would have won an actual popular vote election.

Florida election results

On election night, it quickly became clear that Florida would be a contentious state. The national television networks, through information provided them by the Voter News Service first called Florida for Gore, then Bush, then as 'too close to call'. The Voter News Service was an organization backed and supported by television networks and the Associated Press to help determine the results of presidential elections as early as possible, through early result tallies and exit polling.

Due to the narrow margin of the original vote count, Florida law mandated a statewide recount. In addition, the Gore campaign requested that the votes in 3 counties be recounted by hand, which is within their rights under Florida election law. The Bush campaign then sued in federal court to stop the hand recounts. This case eventually reached the United States Supreme Court, which ruled 5-4 to stop the vote count, effectively declaring Bush the winner. The US supreme court also found that the additional recounts requested by Gore to be unconstitutional, in a 7-2 vote. Ultimately, Gore conceded the election and asked that his supporters also acknowledge Bush as the new president.

Final certified vote for the state of Florida (25 electoral votes)
Presidential Candidate Vote Total Pct Party
George W. Bush (W) 2,912,790 48.850 Republican
Al Gore 2,912,253 48.841 Democrat
Ralph Nader 97,421 1.633 Green
Patrick J. Buchanan 17,412 0.292 Reform
Harry Browne 16,102 0.270 Libertarian
John Hagelin 2,274 0.038 Natural Law/Reform
Howard Phillips 1,378 0.023 Constitution
Other 3,027 0.051 -
Total 5,962,657 100.00
Source: CBS News State Results for Election 2000

Controversy in Florida

Following the election a number of studies have been made of the electoral process in Florida by Democrats, Republicans and other interested parties. A number of flaws and improprieties have been discovered in the process. Listed below are the various controversies that have arisen.

  • The television news media called the state for Al Gore around 9:00pm EST, while voters in the western panhandle (which is in the Central Time Zone) of the state were still voting, potentially depressing the voter turnout. This region of the state is mostly Republican.

  • Jeb Bush, the brother of George W. Bush, was governor of Florida, leading some Gore advocates to make various allegations of impropriety, especially due to their joint campaigning for the Republican vote in Florida and Jeb Bush's assurances to George W. Bush that the Republicans could win Florida. However, it is typical for sitting governors to strongly campaign on behalf of the candidate with the same party affiliation.

  • There were a number of overseas ballots missing postmarks or filled out in such a way that they were invalid under Florida law. A poll worker filled out the missing information on some hundred of these ballots. The Democrats moved to have all overseas ballots thrown out because of this. These disputes added to the mass of litigation between parties to influence the counting of ballots. The largest group of disputed overseas ballots were military ballots, which the Republicans argued to have accepted.

  • Some 179,855 ballots were not counted in the official tally. These were ballots which were mistakenly filled out, however, in some counties the voting machines (Accuvotes) would return the ballot and allow voters to try again, whilst in other counties the reject mechanisms were not enabled, thus giving voters only one chance to correctly mark the ballot. As a general trend, reject mechanisms were disabled in disproportionately African-American and Hispanic counties.

  • A suit by NAACP (NAACP v. Harris) argued that Florida was in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the US Constitution's Equal Protection Amendment. Settlement agreements were reached in this suit. On a related note, Greg Palast provides the following statistics in his book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, implying a gap in uncounted vote percentages between primarily African American and Caucasian counties. It should be noted, however, that these statistics do not specify that the counties sampled are both listing the highest uncounted vote totals.
  • 57,700 voters were incorrectly listed as felons on a "scrub list" and thus their votes were not counted. (In some cases, the alleged felonies were dated several years after the election and the vast majority of the listed were not felons.) These persons were disproportionately Democrats of African-American and Hispanic descent. However, in balance an additional 8,000 non-felons had been supplied by the state of Texas, via Database Technologies, and these people were added to the list in May 2000. Several months after the election, the Palm Beach Post revealed this story. These 8,000 were later removed from the list following a story by the Palm Beach Post. 714 Illinoians and 990 Ohians were added in the same fashion and not removed.

  • People like Washington County Elections Chief Carol Griffen (1 p.25), have argued that Florida was in violation of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 by requiring those convicted of felonies in other states (and subsequently restored their rights by said states), to request clemency and a restoration of their rights, from Governor Bush, in a process which might take 2 years and ultimately was left to Bush's discretion. One should note Schlenther v. Florida Department of State (June 1998) which ruled that Florida could not prevent a man convicted of a felony in Connecticut, where his civil rights had not been lost, from exercising his civil rights.

The "butterfly ballot"
(Larger version)
  • The result of the Florida U.S. Presidential race was so close that some Democratic Party officials argue that one Florida county's hard-to-use ballot may have unfairly decided the presidency. Critics argue that some voters in Palm Beach County, Fla. might have accidentally voted for Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan, when they thought they were voting for Al Gore, on a so-called "butterfly ballot". The Democrats are listed second in the left column; but punching a hole in the second circle actually cast a vote for Buchanan.[1]. The Palm Beach Post's review of the discarded ballots showed that 5,330 votes were cast for Gore and Pat Buchanan, compared with only 1,631 for Bush and Buchanan. In response, others point out that the ballot was designed by a Democrat, Theresa Lapore who would not have chosen party affiliation if the county had not historically chosen Democrats for her position. The ballot was also approved by a representative of both major parties. But neither of these responses go to the issue of whether the ballot may have inadvertently cost Gore the election.

See also: ChoicePoint and Greg Palast

Response to the problems

Since the Presidential Election was so close and hotly contested in Florida, the U.S. Government and state governments have pushed for election reform, usually consisting of installation of modern electronic voting machines.

Electronic voting was originally seen as a panacea for the ills faced during the 2000 election. In years following, such machines were questioned for a lack of a redundant paper trail, less than ideal security standards, and low tolerance for software or hardware problems. The U.S. Presidential Election of 2000 began the debate about election and voting reform, but it did not end it. See Electronic voting: problems.

Minor party candidates

There were five other candidates on the majority of the 51 ballots (50 states plus the
District of Columbia): Harry Browne (Libertarian, 50), Pat Buchanan (Reform, 49), Ralph Nader (Green, 44), Howard Phillips (Constitution, 41), and John Hagelin (Natural Law, 38).

Nader was the most successful of third party candidates, drawing 2.74% of the popular vote. His campaign was marked by a traveling tour of "super-rallies"; large rallies held in sports arenas like Madison Square Garden, with filmmaker Michael Moore as master of ceremonies. After initially ignoring Nader, the Gore campaign made a big publicity pitch to (potential) Nader supporters in the final weeks of the campaign, downplaying Gore's differences with Nader on the issues and claiming that Gore's ideas were more similar to Nader's than Bush's were, noting that Gore had a better chance of winning than Nader. In the aftermath of the campaign, many Gore supporters blamed Nader for drawing enough would-be Gore votes to push Bush over Gore, labeling Nader a "spoiler" candidate.

Major campaign sponsors

Republican Party

Democratic Party

Media post-electoral studies/recounts

In
2003, US citizens living in the state of Florida were asked who they voted for in the 2000 Election as part of the Statistical Abstract Census. The results showed President Bush receiving more than 1000 votes more than former Vice President Gore.

Abstention of D.C. elector

One elector from the District of Columbia, Barbara Lett-Simmons, abstained from voting in the Electoral College, in protest of the fact that D.C. still has no representation at all in Congress.

See also:

References/external links

zh-cn:2000年美国总统选举

  

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona