DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — For some, this election is bringing back memories of 2000 When George W. Bush finally prevailed over al gore after numerous legal challenges.
In 2000, the race wasn’t called until Dec. 12, five weeks after election day. Some worry it could happen again in the current election.
“I was teaching then as well here at Cedarville and had watched that one unfold right before our eyes. That was you know really pretty crazy,” said Kevin Sims, senior professor of political science at Cedarville University.
For 36 days in 2000, Americans waited for results of the highly contested race against. Experts said back then the problem was how the ballots were being counted and if they were trustworthy.
“Florida was still using punch cards. So you had the punch and you had the hanging chads, the little pieces of paper that didn’t come off completely, and can you count those ballots,” Sims said.
At that time the result came down to three counties in Florida which had multiple recounts. 20 years later, we’re seeing the same thing but on a much larger scale.
“The biggest difference is that in 2000 the legal disputes came down to winning one state in this case we don’t know if it came down to one state which one that would be,” said Christopher DeVine, assistant professor of political science at the University of Dayton.
“We’ve got Wisconsin, we’ve got Michigan, we have Pennsylvania, and don’t be at all surprised if there if someone calls for a recount in Georgia. We’ve got multiple Florida’s this time,” Sims said.
In 2000, the winner was finally called when the Supreme Court stepped in. DeVine said there’s a good chance both parties could make legal challenges once the votes are counted.
“Even if they don’t have any legal recourse simply the fact that they say publicly that they don’t accept it would be a contrast to 2000 and perhaps one that would make it that much more difficult to in fact move on to inauguration and toward accepting the new president as legitimate,” he said.