This is a bit of laziness on my part because I could probably Google any number of detailed stories about it, but I’m curious what everyone’s recollection is.
Assuming Biden wins and Trump demands a recount in key states, how would this time around be different than 2000? I remember the Supreme Court stepped in in 2000 and most Democrats still think Bush stole that election on the backs of some extreme fuckery from some folks who are still haunting us in the Trump admin.
How different is the situation in Florida from 20 years ago versus Arizona and Georgia and Pennsylvania this year?
One obvious difference is in how you had to frame this question – 2000 came down to one state, Florida. Right now Trump will need to reverse expected outcomes in at least three states in order to win an Electoral College majority.
2000 was about voters being confused (butterfly design) or malfunctions, but no malice implied. Gore wasn’t accusing Bush of having made confusing ballots on purpose or sabotaging the ballots to make the chads hang.
2020 is about Trump’s campaign making accusations of deliberate cheating and fraudulent mail-in votes by the D’s, so there is a malice component.
I believe in 2000, the initial margin in Florida was so close that it triggered an automatic recount under the state election laws there. I don’t know if any of the states this year have any sort of requirement like that. As mentioned, even the closest margin right now is greatly above what Florida was in 2000.
Essentially the margin of victory in Florida in 2000 was smaller than the margin of error in our attempts to count the damn things. Before the shenanigans, there were the initial attempt to count the votes and then the first recount and, I think (from the top of my head) at least one more, and they kept getting different results. And the differences in results was larger than the difference between Bush’s total and Gore’s total.
And at a certain point, the Supreme Court was asked to intervene, did so (with partisan leanings inferred by others) recognizing the Sec of State who said “Bush won, I’m certifying that”.
We aren’t in that situation now.
As others have said, Trump would instead have to come up with a markedly different recount (definitely not likely to be within the margin of error) in not one, but several states, and then get the Supreme Court to do something cute in each of those states.
In 2000, you voted in Florida by using a stencil to punch out a chad in a punch card. If you didn’t push it all the way through, the tiny square in the card didn’t breakaway completely from the card. That was called a hanging chad. It went to the Supreme Court because republicans claimed that if the chad was hanging, the voter probably wasn’t sincere in who they wanted to vote for, or some sort of nonsense because they didn’t push hard enough. They had people using magnifying glasses to see why there wasn’t a clean hole. The court sided with Bush, and Gore lost the election over a very small number of votes.
Yes, this is the #1 with a bullet point. To overturn a result where you are losing you must invalidate ballots. In order to do that you have to have proof.
To maintain a win while you are ahead, you just have to run out the clock until the results are certified. I suppose it is technically possible for a legal remedy to include a process that overturns certified results (maybe that hanky-panky in NC a few years ago did this?), but it is exceedingly unlikely.