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Gore Defeated By Hanging Chads

Al Gore and running mate Joseph Lieberman concede the presidential election (Getty Images)

It was one of the closest and most disputed presidential elections in U.S. history. It’s when George W. Bush defeated Al Gore back in 2000 when the Supreme Court ruled that Electoral College votes in Florida would be awarded to Bush. For weeks before that, the winner of the election was in doubt as legal battles dragged on over the recounting of votes.

For 36 days the election was in doubt as 47 lawsuits were filed over the counting of votes in Florida.

You might remember the term hanging chads. It came into our vocabulary because of the voting punch cards that were confusing to some people, and lawyers for both sides argued over the intent of the voters when they made their choices using those cards.

Local, county, state and federal courts all heard arguments in the case. Finally, in a vote of 5 to 4, the U.S. Supreme Court stepped and decided the matter in Bush’s favor.

Gore had won the popular vote by more than half a million votes, but Bush won a narrow victory in Florida, and the 25 electoral votes went to him – just enough to put him in the White House.

A short time later, Gore conceded the election in a phone call to Bush, then addressed the nation in a televised speech. It happened 13 years ago on this date in 2000.

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