So... Bush wasn't elected?

Alright. Everywhere, I’m seeing stuff saying that Bush wasn’t legally elected, and that Al Gore should be your President. However, I haven’t heard anything. I thought the recounts stopped after they decided Bush had won?

Or are they just using the majority vote as opposed to the electoral college(?) idea?

“They” being the vocal minority of current protestors?

I swear I think they quit teaching US Government in High Schools.

Just FTR, I’m Canadian. The “vocal minority” consists of a lot of people I know, here on the Praries

I believe the people who say that mean that Bush didn’t receive the popular vote, so therefore, they ignore the electoral college completely and say he shouldn’t be President.

Even Al Gore would tell you that Bush’s election is legitimate. He may not like the outcome, but those are the rules.

See How The Electoral College Works.

Regardless of the popular vote, its the electoral vote that counts.

The bone of contention people appear to have with the 2000 election is the Florida fiasco (conveniently in a state where GW’s brother is governor) and the subsequent decision by SCOTUS effectively awarding the election to Bush.

They sure as heck had when I was there a few years ago. Well, they tried I suppose. A teacher of mine spent a day on the electoral college, and was always referring to it as the “Electorial College” grr… that ticks me off.

Luckily, I ditched mainstream public school and went to an alternative school and had a gov’t teacher who knew her stuff and I ended up learning quite a bit.

It’s simply amazing how many American Citizens have no idea how the electoral college works. And you should have SEEN the looks I got from fellow college students (I was in college whilst Clinton was getting impeached) who told me I was a moron for thinking Clinton would still be the president after he got impeached.

That’s what I thought, thanks. It was just my brother saying something published by Michael Moore (not the most reliable source, I know) claimed that Gore had really won by like 5000 votes in another recount or something.

Actually, they did continue to recount. And, George Bush still won.

Er, yes, but the Florida election was fraudulent… If you include all the votes that Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris connived to get thrown out, then Gore wins.

Well, I think a lot of people who say that know that the electoral college picked Bush, but feel that had certain voting irregularities not occured in Florida, Gore would have won.

Did you read the link Ben? Do you have any proof that Jeb Bush and Mrs. Harris “connived” to get votes thrown out?

And the (predominantly minority and therefore probably Democrat) voters who weren’t allowed to cast a vote because they were on the “felony disqualified” list even though they had only committed misdemeanors.

Well, at least he wasn’t like Homer Simpson, who called it the Electrical College when teaching Apu how to pass the citizenship test.

Yeah, while I think that the fact that more voters voted for Gore is a legitimate gripe (even if it doesn’t change the outcome of the election), the more important point is the tens of thousands of voters disenfranchised by the executive branch of the state of Florida.

I’m not in the mood to try to back this up in any way that people who don’t believe me are likely to accept (and I apologize for that), but many many voter’s voting rights in Florida were thrown out due to being mistakenly identified as ex-felons (I’m resisting the urge to put quotation marks around mistakenly). Many more had commited a felony but had had their voting rights restored by another state before moving to Florida. They were still removed from the lists of voters despite two court rulings, one which said they had the right to vote and the other reiterating this point and telling the governer to act upon the ruling since he hadn’t already.

The totals on the numbers of voters removed because of this is like 50,000 or so. They were mostly registered as Democrats too.

I think that some people say Bush isn’t President because he didn’t get the popular vote, but I think they know full well that that isn’t how we elect our Presidents. Plenty of people also point to the problems with the elections in Florida.


The Supreme Court of Florida ordered a hand recount of votes in Florida that the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in and stopped. Some say that this was improper if not downright outrageous, on the grounds that how electoral votes are cast is a matter of state law and therefore unreviewable by SCOTUS. It’s a very unusual position for this Court to take; state’s rights are generally a very strong concern in other cases.

So SCOTUS takes the case anyway and finds for Bush on the arguments that a recount will deny Florida voters their Equal Protection rights and that it is now impossible to complete a recount in time to meet the federally mandated deadline. Detractors call their Equal Protection argument indefensible and say the only reason the recount can’t be completed is because SCOTUS stopped it when it took the case under consideration.

The Equal Protection argument basically held that

  1. there was no uniform standard for recounts and so counties would receive differing treatment,

  2. that the recount would only include undervotes (votes where the machine tallied nobody voted for a President) as opposed to clear votes and overvotes (two people voted for),

3.that the fact that the Florida Supreme Court ordered a partial recount in Miami-Dade county indicated that the “Florida Supreme Court’s decision that the recounts included in a final certification must be complete.”

  1. The Florida Supreme Court didn’t specify who should conduct the recount, forcing county boards to impress unqualified personnel to do the recount.

The Court seemed to be saying that the lack of a proper process in a recount violated the Equal Protection Clause, and there was no time now for a process which didn’t violate the Equal Protection Clause to be implemented before the federal deadline, so we have to use what we’ve got now. It’s in many ways a significant departure from previous precedent concerning the Equal Protection Clause and federalism between state and federal law, prompting detractors to say the Court was merely justifying a Bush win with bad logic and bad law.

Once again, I bring up my other take on it. Gore wound up conceding, did he not? Once you concede, that’s it. You’re done, gone, out of there. You’ve stuck a fork in yourself and are going to the showers.

That may be the rub.

Here is a timeline.

A mandatory machine recount was called for by State Law (Title IX, Chapter 102.141) which says, in part:

That is done, and Bush’s lead was SLIGHTLY larger (327 votes). Gore wants a manual recount in four Democratic counties alone, NOT according to State Law (Title IX, Chapter 102.166), which states, in part:

Volusia County started the manual recount Nov 12.

The Florida Secretary of State, in accordance with current state law, says the votes have to be done by the deadline stipulated in the law, (Nov 14) a reasonable request. She said you need to send in what you have, and you can keep counting if you like, and requests to consider revised numbers will be entertained in the future. Absentee Ballots would be considered beyond this date.

The day AFTER the deadline (Nov 15), Broward decided to BEGIN the manual recount. Dade got around to BEGINNING Nov 17. On the deadline day, Bush’s lead had crept up to 300. Lawsuits fly, attempting to change or suspend State Law from the Judicial Branches of the State and Federal Government. The Florida Supreme Court decided Nov 16 that manual recounts in Broward and Palm Beach can continue, but it would be up to a state judge to decide whether Harris must include those votes in the final tally, which is done the next day by a Leon County Circuit Court judge. FL State Supreme Court says, “Nope, we didn’t mean that.” Bush’s lead is still a very close 930. More lawsuits, and then Nov 21, the Florida Supreme Court tried to re-write Florida Statutes to say Votes were due Nov 26. Miami Dade stops counting. Using the re-written State Law (Legislation from the Bench) Harris declared Bush the winner by 537 on the date the Supreme Court had set, 12 days after the date on the books.

Gore contests at the Leon County Circuit Court, then the State Supreme Court. State Supreme Court decides RECOUNT all ballots of “NO VOTE” for President. On Dec 4, the U.S. Supreme Court orders the FL State Supreme Court to clarify why they had extended the deadline. They apparently were not happy with the reply, because on Dec 12 the US Supreme Court overturned the FL State Supreme Court’s deadline extension (which had been legislating from the bench, in my opinion).

You follow the rules that are on the books at the time of the election.

Hmm. Number 3 above is mangled. I’ll try it again sans quote, since I can’t find it now.

  1. that the fact that the Florida Supreme Court ordered a partial recount of Miami-Dade county be included indicated that the recount would not be complete,