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Election 2000 Timeline

Sunday, December 17, 2000

A capsule look at events beginning Nov. 7, 2000.

Nov. 7: Election Day
That evening, Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore each have close to an Electoral College majority.

Nov. 8:
Early in the morning, the lead in Florida, whose 25 electoral votes will be decisive, hinges on a few hundred votes. Gore calls Bush with a concession but later calls back and retracts it.

Nov. 9:
An incomplete count puts Bush's lead at 1,784 votes. Because of the narrow margin, a mandatory machine recount is ordered in all 67 counties.

Nov. 10:
The machine recount is completed in all but one county. Bush's lead is 327. Democrats request a manual recount in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Volusia counties, where ballots are in dispute.

Nov. 11:
Palm Beach County announces that it will manually recount all 462,657 ballots cast there. Bush sues in U.S. District Court in Miami to bar manual counting.

Nov. 12:
Volusia County begins its recount. Democrats say they will sue the elections supervisor in Seminole County, where Republican Party workers were permitted to correct errors on thousands of applications for absentee ballots for Republicans.

Nov. 13:
Federal court refuses to stop manual recounts. Florida election officials announce plans to certify statewide results, not counting overseas absentee ballots, on Nov. 14. The Gore campaign sues to extend the deadline.

Nov. 14:
With full machine recount and Volusia County's hand count completed, Bush has a lead of 300 votes on this deadline day. A state judge upholds the deadline but says further recounts can be considered later. Florida's secretary of state, Katherine Harris, a Republican, gives counties until 2 p.m. on Nov. 15 to give reasons for them.

Nov. 15:
Broward County's canvassing board decides to begin a manual recount of all 587,928 ballots cast there. Later in the day, Harris refuses requests for the recounts in Broward and Palm Beach counties to be included in the statewide certification. (Miami-Dade has not yet decided on a recount.)

Nov. 16:
The Florida Supreme Court permits manual recounts in Palm Beach and Broward counties but leaves it to a state judge to decide whether Harris must include those votes in the final tally. Hand counts begin in Palm Beach County, continue in Broward County and are considered by Miami-Dade.

Nov. 17:
Judge Terry P. Lewis of Leon County Circuit Court permits Harris to certify the election results and declare a winner without hand recounts. But the state Supreme Court puts a hold on that decision until it can consider a Gore appeal. Miami-Dade decides to conduct a recount.

Nov. 18:
After overseas absentee ballots are counted, Bush's lead grows to 930 votes. Bush allies complain of irregularities in the hand counting.

Nov. 20:
Lawyers for Bush and Gore argue before the Florida Supreme Court on whether hand counts are to be included in the final tally.

Nov. 21:
The Florida justices rule unanimously that hand counts in the three counties must be included, and set 5 p.m. on Nov. 26 as the earliest time for certification.

Nov. 22:
Bush lawyers appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the state court effectively rewrote state election statutes after the vote. Miami-Dade cancels its manual recount, saying it does not have enough time to complete it by Nov. 26.

Nov. 23:
The state Supreme Court refuses Gore's request to require the counting to continue in Miami-Dade.

Nov. 26:
Harris declares Bush winner in Florida by 537 votes.

Nov. 27:
Gore sues to contest the election in Florida.

Nov. 28:
Judge N. Sanders Sauls of Leon County Circuit Court rejects Gore's request for immediate hand recount of disputed ballots from Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, saying a hearing is needed first.

Nov. 29:
Gore appeals to the Florida Supreme Court.

Dec. 1:
U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on Bush's appeal, which argues that the Florida Supreme Court improperly extended the Nov. 14 deadline for certification. Local Democrats file suit accusing Martin County canvassing board of mishandling absentee ballot applications.

Dec. 3:
Dick Cheney, in televised interviews, urges Gore to concede. Gore says he has given little thought to concession.

Dec. 4:
U.S. Supreme Court orders Florida Supreme Court to clarify its ruling on the extended certification date. Sauls rejects Gore's contest.

Dec. 6:
Florida legislative leaders call for special session to appoint electors pledged to Bush. Gore appeals Sauls' ruling to Florida Supreme Court.

Dec. 7:
The Florida Supreme Court hears arguments on Gore's contest.

Dec. 8:
The Florida justices, on a 4-3 vote, order immediate manual recount of all ballots in the state where no vote for president was machine-recorded -- perhaps 45,000 ballots.

Dec. 9:
On Bush's appeal, U.S. Supreme Court halts the manual count, pending a hearing.

Dec. 10:
Lawyers file briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court. The Bush team says the manual vote recount violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection, and the Gore team says the issue is the importance of counting every vote.

Dec. 11:
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments.

Dec. 12:
The Florida House of Representatives votes to appoint electors for Bush. The U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Florida Supreme Court, ruling 5-4 that there may be no further counting of Florida's disputed presidential votes.

Dec. 13:
Gore concedes; Bush, as president-elect, calls for reconciliation.

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