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The 2000 Presidential Election CICERO © 2010 START.

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Presentation on theme: "The 2000 Presidential Election CICERO © 2010 START."— Presentation transcript:

1 The 2000 Presidential Election CICERO © 2010 START

2  Although many people believe that American voters directly elect the president and vice president; in fact, that power lies in the hands of a body known as the Electoral College. Voters cast ballots for candidates, but it is up to the Electors in each state to either abide by the popular vote or vote with their conscience.  The Electoral College was originally conceived as a safeguard against the tyranny of the majority, and the executive office becoming too powerful which critics worried might undermine the principles of federalism and separation of powers.  In order to prevent this from happening delegates to the Constitutional Convention decided on a more indirect form of election that ultimately came to be known as the elector college. The Constitution lays out the basic framework and responsibilities of the Electors in Article II sections 2 and 3. CICERO © 2010 end

3  Article II establishes, for instance, that:  The number of Electors should be equal to the number of state representatives and senators in the United States Congress.  Over the years there were many who challenged the need for an Electoral College. One of these was Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States.  In 1824 Jackson won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College. When he was elected president in 1828, he vowed to amend the system to better reflect the will of the people. CICERO © 2010 end

4 Andrew Jackson  Andrew Jackson tried to persuade Congress to enact a constitutional amendment that would have abolished the Electoral College. Although he was ultimately unsuccessful, he was able to convince the states to link their Electoral College votes to the popular vote.  This bound each state to have two separate slates of electors who would cast electoral votes only if their party's candidate won the state's popular vote. This ensured, at least in principle, that the popular vote would have a direct bearing on the electoral vote. CICERO © 2010 end

5  Not an official state, Washington, D.C., was granted three electoral votes through the Twenty-third Amendment.  Maine and Nebraska electors distributed by way of the Congressional District Method. CICERO © 2010 end Electoral Map of the 2004 and 2008 Presidential Elections

6  In most cases the candidate who wins the popular vote wins the electoral vote.  On only a few instances has a candidate won the popular vote, but not the electoral vote.  1824 election – Andrew Jackson won the popular vote, but John Quincy Adams won the electoral vote.  1876 election – Samuel J. Tilden won the popular vote, but Rutherford B. Hayes won the electoral vote.  1888 election – Grover Cleveland won the popular vote, but Benjamin Harrison won the electoral vote.  2000 election – Al Gore won the popular vote, but George W. Bush won the electoral vote. CICERO © 2010 end

7 GEORGE W. BUSH (R) AL GORE (D) CICERO © 2010 V. end

8  The Election of 2000 is the most recent example of an election that was decided by the Electoral College.  The 2000 election pitted Texas Governor George W. Bush against Vice President Al Gore.  The election was extremely close; it was the closest in United States history. CICERO © 2010 end

9  Vice President Gore won the popular vote by almost 540,000 votes.  However, in the state of Florida, the election remained very close, and under federal law, a recount was ordered.  Computer results had Bush ahead by 327 votes out of the 6 million that were cast.  Another recount was ordered, but this time it was conducted by hand. CICERO © 2010 end

10 Butterfly Ballot This is an example of a Butterfly Ballot. One can see how easily such a ballot could create confusion among voters. Voters intending to vote for Al Gore mistakenly voted for Patrick Buchanan. CICERO © 2010 end

11  Florida’s Secretary of State Katherine Harris set a deadline for the recount.  The Florida Supreme Court extended Secretary of State Harris’ deadline.  The United States Supreme Court overturned that extension and ruled that the most recent total be counted, which favored Governor Bush.  Bush was awarded Florida’s 25 electoral votes giving him a total of 271 electoral votes, one more than needed (270) to be elected president. CICERO © 2010 end

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