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Read about the issues.
The Issues

Gore vs. Bush
Boston debate
Wake Forest debate
St. Louis debate
"Renewing America's Purpose"
"Blueprint for the Middle Class"
"A Charge to Keep"
L.A., March
CNN, Feb.
N.H., Jan.
Iowa, Jan.
"Medicare at the Crossroads"
"Prosperity for America's Families"
"Inventing Al Gore"
"Earth in the Balance"
"Common Sense Government"
L.A., March
Harlem, Feb.
N.H., Jan.
Iowa, Jan.
Lieberman vs. Cheney
V.P. debate
"In Praise of Public Life"
Buchanan vs. Nader
October Debate
"A Republic, Not an Empire"
"The Concord Principles"
Hillary vs. Lazio
Debate in Manhattan
Debate in Buffalo
"Hillary's Choice"

Florida Recount of the Presidential Election

The Palm Beach County ballot, showing the source of confusion. Click for larger image.

    From outside the campaigns:

    2001 Analysis

  • Gore won if rejected ballots counted; but Bush won on manual recount (Nov 12 2001)
  • Overvotes went 3:1 to Gore on Palm Beach’s “butterfly ballot” (Nov 2001)
  • Undervotes that Gore demanded would not have given Gore victory (Nov 2001)
  • Properly counting overseas ballots would have given Gore victory (Nov 2001)
  • Black votes more likely spoiled in Florida, by 3:1 margin (Nov 13 2001)
  • Gore reiterates that Election 2000 is over; Election 2004 is ultimate verdict (Nov 12 2001)
  • Consensus on electoral remedies still awaiting Congressional action (Nov 2001)
  • How the Consortium Study worked (Nov 2001)
  • Carter & Ford: Make Election Day a national holiday; recommendations of Electoral Reform Commission (July 2001)
  • Congressional Black Caucus: Reject Bush's Florida electors due to election fraud (Jan 2001)

    US Supreme Court rulings

  • No more Florida recount (Dec 12)
  • Rehnquist: exceptional case overrides state opinion (Dec 12)
  • Stevens: Clear loser is confidence in justice system (Dec 12)
  • Breyer: Let Florida recount, under uniform standards (Dec 12)
  • Souter: Give Florida until Dec. 18 to finish recount (Dec 12)
  • Scalia: Stay means Court probably agrees (Dec 9)
  • State legislatures decide election rules (Dec 4)
  • Florida Supreme Court must reconsider (Dec 4)
  • US Supreme Court will hear arguments for certification on Dec. 1 (Nov 26)

    Florida Court rulings

  • Fla. Supreme Court: No Seminole & Martin County absentee fraud (Dec 12)
  • Florida Supreme Court dissent: unprecedented political crisis (Dec 8)
  • Florida Supreme Court ruling cuts Bush lead to 154 votes (Dec 8)
  • Sauls: No fraud, so not enough basis for election contest (Dec 4)
  • Sauls: No more recounts; canvassing board decisions are final (Dec 4)
  • Sauls: No two-tiered systems; county standards are all ok (Dec 4)
  • 1.1 million ballots in truck convoy to Tallahassee (Nov 29)
  • Leon County hearing on Dec. 2; but bring ballots beforehand, just in case (Nov 28)
  • Summary: accept recount; voter rights are paramount (Nov 21)
  • Will of the people is the paramount consideration (Nov 21)
  • Vote tabulation matters; not blind faith in machines (Nov 21)
  • Conflicting statutes decided by recency, specificity, intent (Nov 21)
  • Right of suffrage supercedes technical requirements (Nov 21)
  • Unanimous conclusion: Recount until Nov. 26; then certify (Nov 21)
  • Harris cannot certify election until further notice (Nov 17)

    Florida officials

  • Florida legislature convenes to select electors (Dec 7)
  • Punch-card stylus inventor says hand recounts are advisable (Dec 4)
  • Miami Herald: With flawless ballots, Gore wins by 23,000 votes (Dec 4)
  • Last of South Florida ballots head to State Capitol (Dec 1)
  • Supreme Court decision could change political momentum (Nov 30)
  • Palm Beach reports net gain of 188 for Gore after deadline (Nov 29)
  • Florida legislature leaning towards choosing electors (Nov 28)
  • The right to vote is most cherished right in democracy (Nov 20)
  • Counties should have discretion to hold elections as they see fit (Nov 20)
  • Florida's vote should be certified by December 12 (Nov 20)

    Katherine Harris, Florida Secretary of State

  • Bush sees certification as final; Gore task is to reverse it (Nov 26)
  • Re-certified: Bush wins Florida by 537 votes out of 6 million (Nov 26)
  • Rejects Palm Beach recount; uses Nov 14 machine count (Nov 26)
  • Disagrees with Florida Supreme Court, but complies with their schedule (Nov 26)
  • No more hand recounts in the three counties requesting it (Nov 15)
  • Bush certified as winning Florida by 300 votes out of 6M (Nov 14)

    Third-Party Presidential Candidates

  • Buchanan more a "spoiler" than Nader, in state-by-state analysis (Dec 10)
  • Nader: Margin of votes is less than margin of error: decide it by coin toss (Nov 22)
  • Browne: Florida is full of partisan power brokers (Nov 22)
  • Buchanan: Votes for me must count for me (Nov 12)
  • Buchanan: Gore win could result from Democrats counting votes (Nov 12)
  • Nader: Gore has only himself to blame for deadlock and a bad campaign (Nov 10)

    Bush Campaign:

    George W. Bush

  • Presidency of whole nation is his charge to keep (Dec 13)
  • Let us not allow America to be a house divided (Dec 13)
  • Together, we can unite and accomplish goals (Dec 13)
  • With 50-50 Senate, challenge is to rise above partisanship (Dec 4)
  • Transition progresses; but Bush won’t resign as Governor yet (Nov 30)
  • Declares victory; names transition team (Nov 26)
  • Now that the votes are counted, it is time for the votes to count (Nov 26)
  • Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle (Nov 26)
  • Contesting the election is not best for America (Nov 26)
  • Election principles: be fair, accurate, & conclusive (Nov 15)
  • Continuing hand counts is chaotic; just count absentees (Nov 15)
  • Planning for a new administration; ready when confirmed (Nov 10)
  • Presidency will be Constitutionally legitimate; will unify (Nov 10)

    Dick Cheney

  • It’s time for Gore to concede (Dec 3)
  • Bush not necessarily doomed to one-term weak presidency (Dec 3)
  • Opens transition office in Virginia; accepting donations to fund it (Nov 29)
  • Back to work full time after very mild heart attack (Nov 28)
  • Texas manual recount law has standards; Florida's is divination (Nov 28)
  • Bush will fund transition privately if GSA won't do it (Nov 27)

    James Baker, Bush campaign adviser

  • Supreme Court agrees; Fla. Legislature is paramount (Dec 4)
  • Bush had won 5 times; today he wins again (Nov 26)
  • It's time for closure and for lawyers to go home (Nov 26)
  • Supreme Court is changing rules in the middle of the game (Nov 21)
  • Counting dimpled chads is divination; rules say to discount (Nov 21)
  • Legislature should correct rewriting of electoral code (Nov 21)
  • Ending in a courtroom is "troubling", but shows resilience (Nov 21)
  • Counting can continue, but won't be certified after deadline (Nov 16)
  • Bush campaign opposes multiple recounts (Nov 11)
  • Voting machines are neither Republican nor Democrat (Nov 11)
  • American elections are based on 'one person, one vote' (Nov 10)

    Bush's campaign attorneys

  • Scalia’s position strongly agrees with Bush argument (Dec 12)
  • Florida Supreme Court changed rules after the election (Dec 10)
  • Court-ordered recounts are a naked usurpation of power (Dec 9)
  • Only canvassing boards can decide to do recounts; not courts (Dec 2)
  • Bush claims Gore’s contesting election is illegal (Dec 1)
  • Florida “blew past” federal law (Dec 1)
  • Harris has full discretion to accept returns, no matter what (Dec 1)
  • Shouldn't recount again until judge finds there's a reason to recount (Nov 28)
  • Courts shouldn't overrule canvassing boards lightly (Nov 28)
  • Defining standards for voter intent requires experts on dimples & chads (Nov 28)
  • Return power to Florida legislature from Florida courts (Nov 28)
  • Florida legislature says speed and finality are paramount (Nov 28)
  • Bush sues to count disqualified military votes (Nov 26)
  • Recount all votes for fair outcome, not just small subset (Nov 20)
  • Will not ask for recount in Iowa (Nov 16)

    Karen Hughes, Bush campaign spokesperson

  • The country understands that the election is over (Nov 28)
  • Gore is changing the rules after the game is played (Nov 28)
  • Selective manual recounts do not produce accurate results (Nov 13)
  • Stop recounting, and end process after absentee ballots (Nov 13)
  • Gore should accept that the people elected Bush in Florida (Nov 8)

    Republican Leadership

  • Bush Sr.: It’s an emotional roller-coaster; Gore’s a sore loser (Nov 30)
  • McCain: Time for closure on a bizarre situation (Nov 29)
  • McCain: Reform election system, and get rid of electors (Nov 29)

    Gore Campaign:

    Al Gore

  • Disagrees with Supreme Court, but accepts its finality (Dec 13)
  • Concedes to Bush; now it’s time for reconciliation (Dec 13)
  • Gore will never stop fighting for the people (Dec 13)
  • Counting all votes removes cloud from presidency (Nov 29)
  • Plans to run in 2004, hopefully for re-election (Nov 29)
  • Believes he got more votes & won election; it was not a tie (Nov 29)
  • Believes Bush rejected whole state recount because he’d lose (Nov 29)
  • Bush is trying to run out the clock instead of counting votes (Nov 28)
  • Irregularities are worse in poor cities, but willing to hand-count statewide (Nov 28)
  • It's a legal issue & a principle, even if polls say he should concede (Nov 28)
  • If I'm not chosen, so be it, but let the people speak (Nov 27)
  • Still have not had a full & accurate count (Nov 27)
  • Don't set aside votes just because it's hard to count (Nov 27)
  • Recount process will be over before December 18 (Nov 26)
  • President's first task will be to unite the country (Nov 26)
  • Has been proceeding quietly with transition planning (Nov 26)
  • Democracy is the winner from Supreme Court ruling (Nov 21)
  • Urges unity with Bush; will not accept faithless electors (Nov 21)
  • Court appeal: Let the hand recounts continue (Nov 16)
  • Machines make mistakes; use manual recounts (Nov 15)
  • Offer to Bush: Hand count, then meet to show unity (Nov 15)
  • Integrity of democracy is at stake, not just presidency (Nov 13)
  • Resolve election according to Constitution, not in haste (Nov 8)
  • Gore retracts concession because Florida too close to call (Nov 8)

    Joe Lieberman

  • Fla. Legislature picking electors creates constitutional crisis (Nov 30)
  • Believes they got more votes & won both popular vote & election (Nov 29)
  • Terrible precedent if Florida legislature picks an Electoral slate (Nov 29)
  • Acting according to law, in closest election in US history (Nov 27)
  • If every vote counts, then count every vote (Nov 26)
  • Will contest results, to uphold accuracy and voting integrity (Nov 26)
  • Reconsider overseas military ballots, even if not in full compliance (Nov 19)

    Gore's campaign attorneys

  • Legal miscalculation: “Safe harbor” became hard deadline (Dec 14)
  • Legal miscalculation: failure to ask for statewide recount (Dec 13)
  • Liberal justices try to find way to resume counting (Dec12)
  • O’Connor and Kennedy did not appear to buy Boies argument (Dec 12)
  • Kennedy skeptical whether uniform standard exists (Dec 12)
  • Recount will occur later, if Court bars it now (Dec 10)
  • Supreme Court stayed recount to avoid doubtful legitimacy (Dec 10)
  • Sauls & Seminole cases will end up before Florida Supreme Court (Dec 4)
  • Dimples & undervotes come from misplaced ballots & chad buildup (Dec 2)
  • Asking to hand-count 3,300 votes in Palm; 9,000 votes in Dade (Dec 2)
  • Fla. Supreme Court was authorized, and acted properly (Dec 1)
  • Gore distances himself from Seminole County absentee ballot lawsuit (Nov 29)
  • Florida courts should decide, not federal courts (Nov 28)
  • Florida courts interpreted legislature's intent; that's not new law (Nov 28)
  • Bush says Florida court got it wrong; Gore says it was reasonable (Nov 28)
  • It's easier for Bush to delay than for Gore to move forward (Nov 28)
  • Contesting election, based on errors totalling 1,800 net votes (Nov 27)
  • Miami-Dade manual recount is mandatory; board illegally stopped (Nov 27)
  • Nassau County ignored their own machine recount (Nov 27)
  • Palm Beach recount should be counted, at least through 5 PM (Nov 27)
  • Palm Beach recount should include intent (dimpled chads) (Nov 27)
  • GOP errs in assertion that Harris can certify as she chooses (Nov 20)
  • Hand counting can proceed, says courts (Nov 16)

    Gore Campaign advisers

  • Gore still optimistic; sticking to "count every vote" mantra (Dec 10)
  • Judges counting ballots statewide removes taint of partisanship (Dec 9)
  • Supplementary hand counts should be counted after deadline (Nov 16)
  • No urgency to finish; the system is working fine (Nov 13)
  • The presidency should not be decided by technical details (Nov 10)
  • The small margin in Florida triggers an automatic recount (Nov 7)

    Warren Christopher, Gore campaign advisor

  • Gore won’t concede until 3 cases are decided (Dec 3)
  • Gore won popular vote by 300,000, including NM hand recount (Dec 3)
  • Allow full, fair, and accurate vote count (Nov 13)
  • Lawsuits to enforce will of Florida voters (Nov 13)

    Democratic Leadership

  • Jesse Jackson: Black disenfranchisement part of Civil Rights movement (Dec 10)
  • Michael Dukakis: Losing is lousy, especially because Gore won (Dec 7)
  • Jesse Jackson: Blacks were disproportionately disenfranchised (Dec 4)
  • Hillary Clinton: No problems with presidential transition; resolved by Xmas (Nov 29)
  • Strong support for Gore by Democrats who resent GOP actions (Nov 28)
  • Dick Gephardt: Truth about votes will come out, no matter what (Nov 27)
  • Tom Daschle: Gore ahead by 9 votes, if all current recounts are counted (Nov 27)
  • Bill Clinton: Be patient; this is democracy in action (Nov 11)

The above quotations are related to the Florida Recount.
Click on the links at the bottom of the page for additional quotations.

All material copyright 1999-2022
by Jesse Gordon and
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