Why the Gore/Bush Election is such a mess
Right now, America is in a time of uncertainty about this election. The race between Al Gore and George W. Bush is the closest presidential race the country has seen in its history. With an election this close, many controversial issues have also risen from it. There are many causes to the country’s political turmoil right now and because of that, we may not know a clear-cut winner of the presidency for days, even maybe weeks.
At the beginning of the night, the news broadcasters had stated that the winner of Florida would ultimately be the winner of the race. This is due to the fact that Florida can be thought as a microcosm of the United States through their demography and political views. How right they were.
The race was split down the middle the whole night with Bush taking the plains and the south and Gore taking New England. Then the news came that Gore was the projected winner of Florida and the 25 electoral votes that go with it. This call was premature. As Bush’s advisor had said earlier, it would be impossible to call Florida that early because of the high number of absentee ballots that Florida traditionally has. Therefore, this race has had problems very early on.
Later in the night, both candidates were tied with 242 electoral votes and the only way either could win by getting to 270 was to either win Florida or all the remaining four states. The other four states did not go to one candidate and therefore, Florida would decide the election.
Early the next morning, it had been reported that Bush had won Florida and he was the 43rd president of the United States. Gore then made a phone call to the Texas governor to concede the race and he then got into a “mournful motorcade” to make a concession speech. However, on the way to make his speech, his campaign manager got a phone call and Gore learned that Florida was once again too close to call. Therefore, the news networks started this bumpy ride to the White House with their two premature predictions of the victor of Florida.
As if the premature calls in this close race weren’t enough, it was then learned that in Palm Beach County, Florida, Tom Buchanon got in excess of 3,000 votes, which was five times more than he got in Broward county where there are many more registered voters. Hearing this, the Palm Beach residents, who are heavily democratic, stated that the ballots were confusing because even though Gore was the second choice, his hole was the third one down. Because the race was so close, this was a very crucial turn of events. This led to demonstrations and protests by the Palm Beach residents. Therefore, perhaps the biggest cause of the political pandemonium is the mistaken ballot in Palm Beach County.
Following news of the controversy in Palm Beach, Democratic and Republican lawyers were sent to Palm Beach to investigate the ballots and to argue whether there should be a re-vote or not in Palm Beach. Now, this question has led to a nationwide debate and it has turned into political warfare. Never before in United States history has an election taken so many twists and turns.
In addition to all the confusion in Florida, another question is raised about why the winner of the popular vote could ultimately lose the electoral vote and the White House with it. As of right now, Al Gore is in the lead of the popular vote. However, he can still lose the election by losing Florida because he would not win the electoral vote. Many people question the fact that if we live in a democracy, why do we not directly vote the President into office. Therefore, this is just another problem that adds fuel to the fire about this whole presidential debate.
Never before in America’s history have we had an election like this. Things are so out of control that the whole nation is at each other’s necks. After the re-count the election in Florida is within 300 votes which makes it the closest race ever. However, this is also the election with the most controversy encompassed with it. We can only sit and marvel at how many different factors have caused this. However, all we can really do is sit back and watch as more events play out in this election as we think to ourselves: “I guess one vote really does count.”