A Look Back at History: America divided Bush v. Gore

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Photo Courtesy of Britannica

The electoral vote divide is shown in by state for the 2000 election.

Autumn Page, Staff Reporter

History repeats itself, and the election of 2020 can be compared to the presidential election of 2000.

The election between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Albert (Al) Arnold Gore Jr. had the nation divided into two halves. It was only 537 votes that separated the two candidates.

The 2000 election and the division of America shows that we’re in the same scenario 20 years later.

As election day progressed in 2000, the results were changing. To where it confused the nation and the candidates running.

This is something that I know will make an appearance with the 2020 election.

When one of the Florida polls had declared Gore won, not long after the announcement was made — it was retracted.

This caused mass confusion and protests. The people demanded a recount.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled in favor of a manual recount of the votes in Florida, the state that was going to decide the outcome of the election.

The machine recount in Florida gave Bush the lead with a 327 vote lead. This led both candidates to go back-and-forth with the courts.

Bush wanted the Supreme Court to reverse the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling. Arguing that a statewide manual recount would violate the United States Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. While Gore argued that there was a uniform standard for recounting votes.

The standard, as stated in Florida statute, was that a vote would count if the “clear intent of the voter” was reflected in the ballot.

Days later, The Supreme Court overruled that decision, saying that it was unconstitutional.

In the month following the election, 50 individual suits were filed regarding the various counts, recounts, and certification deadlines.

Finally, on December 8, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that manual recounts had to continue in all counties that had a significant number of under votes that were observed for the office of president.

It took over a month to get some answer. The answer was the Supreme Court agreeing with Bush and halting the recounts.

It wouldn’t have been possible for manual recounting with a deadline of Dec. 12.

There are clear similarities between the 2000 election and the one on Nov. 3.

With mail-in voting being the choice of most, ballots are bound to get delayed and lost. With the protesting and fake drop off boxes, it’s hard to say how many will make it to be counted.

Based on polls, Donald Trump and Joe Biden are close in the running. Much like how Bush and Gore were in 2000.

Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh cited Bush v Gore when explaining why he voted to deny requests for extensions for mail-in ballots.

This is the second time the case has been referenced since it happened 20 years ago.

The 2000 election was one of the closest elections in our history, according to The Bills of Rights Institute.  The race we’ll see on Nov. 3 might take that spot in The Bills of Rights Institute.