Punched Out

Published March 16, 2001, Top Story

Miami, Florida—Former Vice President Al Gore finally got his wish. But not really.

After the November election, Mr. Gore demanded recounts in Florida. He insisted he had been cheated.

At the center of the controversy were the hand-punched ballot cards used in four Florida counties. Ballots that were not properly punched were not counted. That’s because the machines used to count the cards rejected them.

The Gore team claimed most of the uncounted cards were actually votes for Mr. Gore—and that Gore voters were being discriminated against.

Some recounting was done. Poll workers had to scrutinize each card for dents or scratches and then decide which hole the voter had intended to punch out—even though he hadn’t.

The U.S. Supreme Court finally put a stop to the counting and the fighting over it. George W. Bush was declared the official winner.

Now The Miami Herald newspaper and its owner, the Knight Ridder company, have completed their own 3-week count of the cards. The Palm Beach Post has done one too.

Both counts show that Mr. Bush truly was the winner.