Since Oregon and New Mexico together have only 7+5 = 12 votes, they are irrelevant.
Florida's 25 votes are enough for either Gore or Bush to win. On 26 November 2000, after three counts: an original count, a full recount, and a partial recount (only some, not all, counties) pursuant to a ruling of the Florida Supreme Court, the Florida vote was certified to be Gore: 2,912,253; Bush: 2,912,790, so that Bush wins Florida by a plurality with a margin of 537 votes out of a total Florida vote of about 6 million.
writes Duncan Campbell in an article in The Guardian Weekly (16-22 November 2000) that continues:
"Al Gore may have lost the presidential election not because of a badly designed ballot, dubious counting practices in Florida or the defection of independents to Ralph Nader, but because of the criminal justice policy that he and President Clinton pursued for the past eight years.
That policy appears to have robbed the Democrats of victory by disenfranchising nearly one in three black men in Florida, most of whose votes Mr. Gore would have received.
... 92% of black voters in the south backed Mr. Gore ... Elsewhere in the United States Mr. Gore led Mr. Bush by 85% to 12% among black men and 94%to 6% among black women.
A total of 4.2 million Americans were not allowed to vote because they were in prison or had felony convictions. Of those more than one third, or arough 1.8 million, were black, according to the Sentencing Project ... Nationally, this amounts to 13% of all black men.
The Sentencing Project and Human Rights Watch examined the extent of disenfranchisement in 1998 and discovered that in ... Florida ... 31% of all black men were permanently disenfranchised. because of convictions, many for non-violent offences. ... Only Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts allow those jailed for felonies to vote.
"In a stroke of divine justice it turns out that he [Gore] might have easily won Florida had it not been for the felony disenfranchisement laws that disproportionately strip the vote from African-American men," said Sanho Tree, director of the drug policy project of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington. ...
The Clinton-Gore administration has been heavily criticised by penal reformers for its "war on drugs" which has led to more than 400,000 people being jailed, a disproportionate number being black and Latino.
Cedric Muhammad, editor of the blackelectorate.com website, writes in his ... bulletin: "If he [Gore] and his supporters are honest, they may have to blame the Clinton-Gore administration and a criminal justice system that locked up blacks wholesale over the last eight years for non-violent offences." ...".
Neither electors for Gore nor elctors for Bush received a majority of the popular vote in Florida ( according to CNN as of 26 Nov 2000 ):
In the total popular vote of all the USA ( according to The New York Times as of 26 Nov 2000 ), neither electors for Gore nor electors for Bush received a majority of the total popular vote of the USA:
18 Dec: Electoral college meets in each state. [and the District of Columbia] ...
early in Jan: Congress counts electoral college votes. If no winner, House of Representatives chooses president and Senate vice-president
20 Jan: Inauguration Day. If no president chosen, House speaker is acting president
Since the USA House of Representatives and Senate are very nearly evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, a continuing contest of the election results could produce a situation in which the House speaker must be acting president for an uncertain period of time.
To avoid such a high level of uncertainty as the USA moves toward its Fate in the Future, it is necessary that either:
Gore and Bush agree that Bush's victory should not be contested, following the example of Richard Nixon, who in the interest of stability of the government of the USA refused to contest questionable aspects of the 1960 Presidential election contest with John Kennedy;
if Gore persists in pursuing contests, an authority recognized by most of the USA as paramount must rule finally and expeditiously on such contests. The only such institutional authority is the USA Supreme Court, which has agreed to hear, on 1 December 2000, arguments related to the election.
It is up to Gore to decide whether to accept the certified results that Bush won in Florida, and therefore in the USA electoral process, or to persist in pursuing contests, forcing the USA Supreme Court to settle the matter.
In my opinion, if Gore decides to purse contests, then the Democrat ticket of Gore and Lieberman deserve the appellation "Sore Loserman" given them by the Republicans.
Just to make my personal position clear, I voted in my home state of Georgia for the Libertarian Party electors, so I was one of the over 3 million USA voters dissatisfied with both Bush and Gore. Prior to the nominating conventions, I supported Bill Bradley.
Immediately after the 7 November 2000 election day, I saw that the choice was in fact narrowed to either Bush or Gore, and I then thought that I would prefer a Gore presidency.
However, my opinon of Gore declined markedly when I saw the following article dated 19 November 2000:
"... The DRUDGE REPORT has obtained -- and is now releasing worldwide -- a memo circulated to Democrats throughout Florida detailing how to disqualify overseas military ballots! ...
Mark Herron, a Tallahassee lawyer helping shepherd Democratic presidential election lawsuits through the local courts, sent the five-page letter to Democratic attorneys across Florida giving them tips on how to lodge protests against the ballots which heavily favored Republican George W. Bush.
... after vigorous challenges by Gore canvassers, 1,527 of the postal ballots, many of them from soldiers and sailors on active service, were rejected using Herron's bluprint.
... The 5-page memo as obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT:
Date: November 15, 2000
To: FDP Lawyer
From: Mark Herron
Subject: Overseas Absentee Ballot Review and Protest
The form of the voter's certificates on the absentee ballot is set forth in section 101.64(1), Florida Statutes. By statutory provisions, only overseas absentee ballots mailed with an APO, PPO, or foreign postmark shall be considered a ballot. See Section 101.62(7)(c). Florida Statutes.
In reviewing these ballots you should focus on the following:
4. The ballot is postmarked: With respect to absentee ballots mailed by absolute qualified electors overseas only those ballots mailed with an APO, PPO, or foreign postmark shall be considered valid. See Section 101.62(7)(c), Florida Statutes. This statutory provision varies from rule 15-2.013(7), Florida Administrative Code, which provides overseas absentee ballots may be accepted if "postmarked or signed and dated no later than the date of the federal election."
The New York Times reported that, after the Drudge Report came out around 19 November 2000, Democrat Vice Presidential candidate Lieberman had spoken to urge "... that the excluded military ballots be counted. ...". Personally, I believe that Lieberman's belated statement is too late to be considered to be sincere, and that he only regrets that the Democrats got caught, and does not really regret what they did.
The Democrat efforts to disqualify votes of USA military personnel if the envelopes had no postmark (as can be the case with USA military mail) have caused me to change my mind. I no longer hoped for a Gore presidency. I felt that Gore and Lieberman should have considered that:
after Richard Nixon went away gracefully in 1960, he was able to return in 1968, win the presidency, and be re-elected in 1972;
when Richard Nixon went away ungracefully in his 1974 resignation, his Republican Vice President / successor Gerald Ford was defeated in the 1976 presidential election by Jimmy Carter.
However, Gore and Lieberman did not go away gracefully.
"... With No Dissent in Inner Circle, Gore Hasn't Discussed Conceding ..." according to a 1 December 2000 article in The New York Times by Melinda Henneberger, which article goes on to say:"... Friends say he [Mr. Gore] appears to be torturing himself with "what ifs," especially since he would now be packing for the White House if he had won
- Arkansas, where he declined to dispatch Bill Clinton to work his home turf.
- Or heavily Democratic West Virginia, where he did not campaign at all, other than a stop to refuel his plane, until 10 days before the election.
- Or, most humiliatingly, his own home state of Tennessee, where even a number of supporters have said they, too, felt taken for granted. ...
[Here is a picture of an official State of Tennessee road sign welcoming Interstate travelers:
... friends who have talked to the vice president in recent days ... friends suggested that Mr. Gore was blaming other people ... for his failure to win outright. ...
One close friend, Steve Armistead, who spent summers growing up with him in Tennessee, ... put the blame on the vice president's army of consultants - and ultimately, on the one who hired them, saying, "There were too many vultures and not enough of the caring type, and that was his fault." ...
... Mike Kopp, who worked for Mr. Gore for years in Congress ... said that, over the years, Mr. Gore's unwillingness to listen to different points of view or to brook even the best-intentioned criticism from old friends had narrowed his circle considerably. ...".
Gore and Lieberman pressed many contests and much litigation.
According to a 7 December 2000 UPI article by Peter Roff in Virtual New York: "... The National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative public interest group, has filed a complaint with the Florida Bar requesting that David Boies and Mitchell W. Berger, attorneys for Vice President Al Gore, be investigated for professional misconduct. The complaint alleges the two attorneys employed a misleading and allegedly false affidavit in Florida courts. ... "As part of their argument in favor of a liberal standard for judging contested ballots in Palm Beach and Broward counties, (Gore attorneys) Boies and Berger made use of an affidavit by Illinois attorney Michael Lavelle that claimed dimpled ballots had been counted in a contested 1990 election," NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm said. ... the attorneys referred to the decision of the Illinois court in the matter of Pullen v. Mulligan as a sweeping directive to count indented ballots, also called "dimpled chads," in the hand recounts. In reality, the judge's order in the case excluded dimpled chads from the recount. The November 30 Washington Times reported Lavelle "retracted a sworn affidavit that the Gore campaign solicited and then used to persuade two election boards to count slightly indented punch-card ballots as votes. ... Lavelle faxed a corrected affidavit Nov. 23, but Democratic attorneys never forwarded the document to either the Broward or Palm Beach County election boards."
The Gore-Lieberman litigation led to Bush-Cheney counter-litigation, a ruling by the Florida Supreme Court extending the certification deadline and authorizing a partial recount (only some, not all, counties), and eventually to oral argument before the USA Supreme Court on 1 December 2000.
According to an 8 December 2000 article by Mark Steyn in The London Electronic Telegraph: "... This week, there was the US Supreme Court, mulling over the Florida court's decision to rewrite the state election law in Al's favour: "After reviewing the opinion of the Florida Supreme Court, we find that there is considerable uncertainty as to the precise grounds for the decision . . ." In other words: You rubes are so dumb we can't even make sense of your judgment. We'll give you another chance to explain yourself, but be warned - the playground is back under adult supervision.
...there's still the wild card. Seminole and Martin Counties. Seems ... Republican officials ...[wrote]... identification numbers on the absentee-ballot ...[applications]... by hand. Not on the ballots, just on the ...[applications]... . And not on all the ...[applications]... , just some. But Democrats think they're in with a shot at getting all the absentee ballots thrown out, and delivering the state to Al - at least for a day or two until someone remembers the relevant portion of the United States Code: [United States Code Title 42 Chapter 20 Subchapter I Section 1971 (a): "... errors or omissions from papers ... (2)] No person acting under color of law shall ... [(B)] deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election; ...".
Later on 8 December 2000, the Seminole and Martin cases were thrown out by the Florida Trial Court Judges, thus leaving those absentee ballots in the vote total.
However, still later on 8 December 2000, the Florida Supreme Court ruled by a 4-3 margin that all undervotes (ballots in which no preference for the office of President of the USA) in all counties should be recounted again by hand. Their ruling was called by one TV commentator "a thumb in the eye of the United States Supreme Court".
[ images from Supreme Court of Florida website ]
One of the 3 dissenters was Chief Justice Wells, whose opinion was quoted by the Drudge Report as saying:
"... I could not more strongly disagree with their decision to reverse the trial court and prolong this judicial process. I also believe that the majority's decision cannot withstand the scrutiny which will certainly immediately follow under the United States Constitution. My succinct conclusion is that the majority's decision to return this case to the circuit court for a count of the undervotes from either Miami-Dade County or all counties has no foundation in the law of Florida as it existed on November 7, 2000, or at any time until the issuance of this opinion. ... [A]fter an evidentiary hearing, the trial court expressly found no dishonesty, gross negligence, improper influence, coercion, or fraud in the balloting and counting processes based upon the evidence presented. I conclude this finding should curtail this Court's involvement in this election through this case and is a substantial basis for affirming the trial court. ... Should a county canvassing board count or not count a "dimpled chad" where the voter is able to successfully dislodge the chad in every other contest on that ballot? Here, the county canvassing boards disagree. Apparently, some do and some do not. Continuation of this system of county-by-county decisions regarding how a dimpled chad is counted is fraught with equal protection concerns which will eventually cause the election results in Florida to be stricken by the federal courts or Congress. ... Clearly, in a presidential election, the Legislature has not authorized the courts of Florida to order partial [undervotes only] recounts, either in a limited number of counties or statewide. This Court's order to do so appears to me to be in conflict with the United States Supreme Court decision. ...".
The very next day, Saturday 9 December 2000, according to CNN:
"... the U.S. Supreme Court ... voted 5-4 to stop the recount ordered Friday [8 December 2000] by the Florida Supreme Court ...
Chief Justice William Rehnquist [Reagan] and Justices Anthony Kennedy [Reagan], Antonin Scalia [Reagan], Clarence Thomas [Bush] and Sandra Day O'Connor [Reagan] voted to halt the recounts. Justices John Paul Stevens [Ford], Stephen Breyer [Clinton], Ruth Bader Ginsburg [Clinton] and David Souter [Bush] dissented. ...
[ The name of the President who appointed each Justice is listed above in brackets.
... "It suffices to say that the issuance of the stay suggests that a majority of the court, while not deciding the issues present, believes that the petitioner has a substantial probability of success," wrote Scalia ...".
According to a 13 December AP article by David Espo and Ron Fournier that I saw from a link on the Matt Drudge website: "... In their extraordinary late night ruling on Tuesday [12 December 2000], the [US Supreme Court] ... agreed
On 13 December 2000, Gore decided to concede the election to Bush, who therefore became the President-Elect of the USA. Therefore, it became unnecessary for the Florida legislature to name electors (probably for Bush, since both houses of the Florida legislature were controlled by Republicans) to represent Florida in the USA Electoral College.
On 18 December 2000, according to an article the next day in The New York Times by David Stout, the USA Electoral College votes were cast in each state's capitol (and in the District of Columbia) and "... Bush had the 271 votes he had expected. ... Gore had 266, one less than he had expected, because a District of Columbia elector left her ballot blank to protest Washington's lack of a voting representative in Congress. ...".
Bush's 537 vote margin in Florida was the result of three vote counts:
Why did Gore not get such a recount ?
According to a 12 December 2000 article by David Barstow and Adam Nagourney in The New York Times:
"... Gore's failure to ask the Florida courts for a manual statewide recount ... unnecessarily raised constitutional obstacles that made it far more difficult for Florida's courts to fashion a timely remedy that the Supreme Court might have found tolerable. That error ... had been compounded by an earlier misstep by ... Gore's lawyers - a decision to seek more time to complete the first phase of the counting process. The decision, one on which even ... Gore's lawyers disagreed, greatly shortened the time available in the second phase to seek a statewide manual recount.
"He has nobody to blame but himself," said Thomas W. Merrill, a professor of law at Northwestern University, who criticized the Gore campaign for elevating hardball tactics - seeking immediate hand recounts in Democratic strongholds - over a strategy of demanding that all votes be counted regardless of the political consequences. ...
... Gore's principal lawyer, David Boies, erred in failing to respond to a clear invitation from several [US Supreme Court] justices to define more precisely how counters should evaluate voter intent in examining ballots. At least seven of the justices, according to tonight's main opinion, were clearly not satisfied by ... Boies's attempt to argue that it is was enough, simply, to determine the voters' intent.
... Gore ...[did not]... formally petition the Florida courts for a manual statewide recount. Instead, ... Gore had only made the offer ... for a manual statewide recount ... to ... Bush in a televised address nearly a month ago. ... Bush rejected the offer, and
... Gore's lawyers did not pursue ... a manual statewide recount ... in court, even though they were invited to do just that during oral arguments before the Florida Supreme Court. ... Boies told the Florida justices that the vice president would "accept" a statewide recount, but added, "We are not urging that upon the court." ...
... Gore lawyers said they never dreamed, given the shortness of time, that the Florida Supreme Court would order a statewide manual recount of some 45,000 ballots.
... Ben Ginsberg, a senior lawyer for the Bush team, said that ... Gore's lawyers pursued an intellectually dishonest course to further one overriding goal: finding enough Democratic votes to overcome ... Bush's lead. ... The Gore team sought recounts in four of Florida's 67 counties - Broward, Palm Beach, Volusia and Miami-Dade - all of which ... had voted for ... Gore. ... "Going statewide, they're really not sure they can win," ... Ginsberg said. "Their overall mistake," he added, "is being so hypocritical about what they were asking for. ... They haven't been able to sustain as a legal matter what they were talking about at press conferences. That hurt them in court." ...".
From the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe:
... the qualities he is required to display are not those of leadership but those of finely judged outrage. For this reason the President is always a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it. ... Very very few people realize that the President ... [has] virtually no power at all ...
There are at least two views on the answer to that question:
1 - From The Restaurant at the End of the Universe:
"... On a small obscure world somewhere in the middle of nowhere in particular ... was a ... man ... There was also [a] ... cat ...
He looked at the cat ... "And when I hear their questions, do you hear questions? What do their voices mean to you? Perhaps you just think they're singing songs to you." ... "Perhaps they are singing songs to you," he said, "and I just think they're asking me questions." ...
"I say what it occurs to me to say when I think I hear people say things. More I cannot say.... My cat," said the man ... "I call him The Lord. ... It ... pleases me to behave in a certain way to what appears to be a cat. ..." ...".
2 - The power to influence our Future History lies in the Corporate Financial System, which controls the financing of both the Democrat and Republican political parties, including the financing of their candidates, so that no matter which party (or which party's candidate) wins, the winner (and therefore the office won by the winner) is beholden to the Corporate Financial System, which is therefore the true power behind the throne.