Presidential Election of 2000
This is the big one in recent times, the election which still causes argument among partisans on each side. To those who supported George W. Bush the election was clearly open and aboveboard, certified by the Supreme Court. To those who supported Al Gore, the election was clearly stolen by the Republicans in Florida, an argument which was fortified when additional questions arose following Bush’s reelection on other states.
It was the election in which the nation learned that the little tab of cardboard which is pushed through a punch card to signify a choice has a name. Gore supporters often lament that the Supreme Court awarded the presidency to his opponent, strictly speaking that is incorrect, although the Supreme Court did end the recount in Florida which effectively limited Gore’s legal challenge to the result, and he conceded a second time.
The 2000 presidential election was the closest in US history, with Gore winning the popular vote by over 500,000 votes although Bush prevailed in the Electoral College by one vote. Numerous recounts over time by analysts have reached differing opinions on what the result would have been had the Supreme Court allowed the hand count requested by Gore to have been completed.
Because of the difficulties encountered during the election, in which both sides still claim they really won years after the two Bush administrations, several efforts were initiated to ensure that the discrepancies encountered in the 2000 election would not recur.
One such effort was the passing of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) which required states to upgrade voting systems and provided financial assistance for them to do so by purchasing or upgrading electronic voting and vote recording systems. Many of these systems installed by the states led to the perceived discrepancies, some still unresolved, which occurred in the next presidential election in 2004.