Course Hero. "Bush v. Gore: Exposing the Hidden Crisis in American Democracy Study Guide." Course Hero. 18 Oct. 2019. Web. 27 Jan. 2023. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Bush-v-Gore-Exposing-the-Hidden-Crisis-in-American-Democracy/>.
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(Course Hero, 2019)
Course Hero. "Bush v. Gore: Exposing the Hidden Crisis in American Democracy Study Guide." October 18, 2019. Accessed January 27, 2023. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Bush-v-Gore-Exposing-the-Hidden-Crisis-in-American-Democracy/.
Course Hero, "Bush v. Gore: Exposing the Hidden Crisis in American Democracy Study Guide," October 18, 2019, accessed January 27, 2023, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Bush-v-Gore-Exposing-the-Hidden-Crisis-in-American-Democracy/.
Charles L. Zelden
On November 7, 2000, Americans went to the polls to decide who would be the next president of the United States: the Democratic candidate Al Gore (b. 1948) or the Republican candidate George W. Bush (b. 1946). As the morning of November 8 dawned, however, it was clear that the result of the election was inconclusive. In Florida the state's 25 electoral college votes would swing the result to either candidate, but the initial results of the statewide vote suggested that Bush was ahead by just over 500 votes. A recount of votes in the state began, which turned the electoral contest between Bush and Gore into a legal fight that lasted over a month until the Supreme Court finally stepped in to declare Bush the winner.
Charles L. Zelden lays out the story of how the contest between Bush and Gore developed in the weeks after the election. He shows how both sides used legal wrangling to attempt to secure victory. The Gore team tried to get as much time as possible to recount votes and to convince Florida's election authorities to count as many discarded or rejected ballots as possible. The Bush team tried to stop these measures, believing Bush had already won. Zelden follows the arguments all the way to the Supreme Court, where he dissects the contentious Supreme Court decision (which ended the recounts and handed victory to Bush) and analyzes the personalities and thought processes of the justices as they decided how to rule. Throughout his analysis Zelden paints a picture of an election system with deep and systemic flaws. He shows that a lack of uniformity in ballots, outdated voting technology, confusing instructions, and partisan rule-setting and enforcement all contribute to a deep and severe crisis in American democracy that the Supreme Court and, later, politicians, did little or nothing to address.
Bush v. Gore is the name of the Supreme Court ruling that finally decided the outcome of the 2000 presidential election in the United States. The names are those of the two candidates, George W. Bush (b. 1946) and Al Gore (b. 1948). The book's subtitle, "Exposing the Hidden Crisis in American Democracy," introduces Charles L. Zelden's argument that the 2000 presidential election revealed major problems with democracy, and in particular, the election system in America. This crisis was "hidden" because of the focus of most observers in the media on the immediate contest between Bush and Gore and the controversial Supreme Court decision.
This study guide for Charles L. Zelden's Bush v. Gore: Exposing the Hidden Crisis in American Democracy offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.