A Moment in History: The 2000 Presidential Election is Too Close to Call
As anyone who stayed up until 4:30am Eastern Time on Tuesday night / Wednesday morning knows, the U.S. Presidential election hinged upon Florida and the results are inconclusive. This has all the drama of the last play of Super Bowl XXXIV, where Kevin Dyson of the Tennessee Titans was stopped one yard short of the end zone by the Rams' Mike Jones, denying the Titans the opportunity to tie the game and send it into overtime.
Well, in a political and civic sense America is now in overtime, for the first time in the lives of any living American.
A number of people who did not stay up until the bitter end have asked us, "How could the result be in such doubt? And, why was Florida projected to have been won, first by Gore, and then by Bush?"
We came up with two reasons: 1) Although running vote counts were available in several places, none of the sources ever reported the total number of absentee ballots outstanding. 2) The State of Florida's election results Web Site was overwhelmed and differed substantially from the information being provided by the Voter News Service.
To prove the point, we invite you to look at this screen shot that we captured from the State of Florida's Election Web Site. It shows the vote count as it stood when the Secretary of State said that 100 percent of the precincts were reporting. It took some doing to get this screen shot, but it clearly shows why no one felt comfortable calling George W. Bush the ultimate winner as long as ballots from overseas absentees remain outstanding.