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10 Bizarre Moments in Presidential Elections


1
2000: The Supreme Court Decides the Winner
The New York Post proclaims George W. Bush the winner of the 2000 presidential election, while the New York Daily News is more circumspect, the morning after the election. It took more than a month to determine an official winner. HENNY RAY ABRAMS/AFP/Getty Images
The New York Post proclaims George W. Bush the winner of the 2000 presidential election, while the New York Daily News is more circumspect, the morning after the election. It took more than a month to determine an official winner. HENNY RAY ABRAMS/AFP/Getty Images

If there's an election that really left a bad taste in many Americans' mouths, this one is it. The Republican nominee, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, and his Democratic counterpart, Vice President Al Gore, battled hard all summer, and as Election Day approached, it seemed too close to call. That evening, though, Gore appeared on his way to victory, after the major TV networks projected Gore as the winner in the important state of Florida. But at around 10 p.m., they rescinded their predictions, and instead, at 2:15 a.m., called Florida for Bush. That led Gore to call Bush and congratulate him on winning the presidency [source: Miller Center].

But Gore's concession didn't last long. After the Florida vote count showed the margin narrowing tighter and tighter, Gore called Bush again and retracted his concession. For the next month or so, the two sides battled over a recount, and voting irregularities in places such as Palm Beach County, where the format of a punch-card ballot seemed to confuse some voters.

Gore wanted a manual recount of four counties, and the Florida Supreme Court agreed with him. But, on Dec. 12, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a controversial 5-4 decision, stopped the recount. That gave Bush a victory in Florida of just 537 votes over Gore, who beat him in the nationwide popular vote by 500,000 [source: Levine].


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