Students in Palm Beach talk about what it's like at the center of the storm.
The Gore camp explains its next steps
The Bush camp explains
I'm not finished yet: video
from New Jersey, Colorado and Virginia talk about the issues they care
the system broken? A look at why many Americans feel left out of
the political process.
The nation is waiting for Florida....
Lawyers for the Gore campaign are back in court to contest the vote certification in Florida. Secretary of State Katherine Harris declared Texas Governor George W. Bush the winner in Florida by a 537-vote margin.
Why all the fuss? Florida law says the votes must be recounted when the difference is less than half of one percent. Counties can decide whether a hand recount is necessary, and three heavily Democratic counties decided it was. Democrats are hoping that there will be enough new Gore votes to give him the presidency. But Republicans said hand recounts were illegal.
Both sides are considering their legal options.
The Gore campaign has challenged a confusing ballot in Palm Beach there may have led some voters to mistakenly choose Pat Buchanan for president when they wanted to select Gore's name. Click here to see the ballot.
Gore carried the county, but there were 3,407 votes for Buchanan, three times the number in any other Florida county. In addition, 19,120 ballots for the presidential race were thrown out because more than one candidate was marked.
Bush's man in Florida, former Secretary of State James Baker, said no one complained about the layout of the county ballot prior to the election when, he said, it was approved by a Democratic official and published in local newspapers.
The Bush campaign points out that ballots were thrown out in other states that went to Gore by a slim margin.
Eight lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts to challenge the Florida results, including six in Palm Beach County and two in the capital, Tallahassee.
There is a slim possibility there will be a revote. Court-ordered elections are extraordinarily rare nationwide, but a Florida judge ordered one two years ago in the Miami mayor's race, citing "fraudulent, intentional and criminal conduct" involving absentee votes.
Ultimately, the election was overturned, but not on a revote -- an appeals court found enough evidence to reverse the election outright.
In 1974, a Florida trial court also ordered a new election for several losing candidates who challenged the layout of an unusually long ballot. In that case an appeals court overturned the lower court decision and there was no revote.
As you can see, the legal options could mean a long period of time in which the U.S. presidency could be tied up in the courts. Most politicians on both sides think this would be a bad situation for the country.
Is there a deadline?
Bill Clinton is president until January 20 when the new president is supposed to be sworn in. The presidential electors meet on Dec. 18, usually in their state capitals, to vote for president and vice president.
In January, the president of the Senate -- actually, that would be Vice President Gore -- announces the winner of the presidential election to a the Congress.
And if the situation in Florida isn't settled by Dec. 18, the president can be chosen without every state's electoral votes. The Constitution only requires a majority of the electors.
If Florida's votes were not counted, the remaining electors would pick the president. With Bush's current 246 electoral votes and Gore's 267, Gore would become president.
If there is an electoral vote tie, the presidential race would go to the House, where each state would have one vote and, at least in theory, there could be another deadlock.
The Senate would select a new vice president and again, there could be a tie.
If no new president or vice president had been selected by Inauguration Day, the Presidential Succession Act would kick in. That act says the president would be the speaker of the House -- currently Republican Dennis Hastert. After Hastert comes the president pro tempore of the new Senate. That would be Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who turns 98 in December.
And that's about it....
So will the Democrats sue? Will the courts find in their favor? These questions and more will only be answered in time.
Meanwhile, tell us what you think about this confusing situation.
-Updated Dec 6, 2000
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