ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Twenty years ago, in a different time and under far different circumstances than today, it took five weeks of Florida recounts and court battles before Republican George W. Bush prevailed over Democrat Al Gore by 537 votes.
Today’s attempts by President Donald Trump and GOP allies to get unproven claims of fraud and voting irregularities into court in multiple states face a much steeper climb, legal and political experts say.
“There’s not a lot of similarities,” said attorney Barry Richard, who represented Bush in the 2000 saga. “In 2000, there was clearly a problem with the defective ballots. Nobody was claiming fraud or improprieties. It was all about how we made sure everybody’s vote counted.”
The Florida recount demanded by the Gore campaign famously centered on problems with outmoded punch-card ballots with canvassers trying to figure out a voter’s intent amid ballots with “hanging chads” and “dimpled chads” on the cards. The case wound up in the U.S. Supreme Court, which halted the recount and handed the presidency to Bush.
The Trump campaign, on the other hand, is filing multiple lawsuits in at least five states in which Democrat Joe Biden is ahead by tens