Voters Rally for Electoral Reform, CNN Politics, May 19, 2001
Election reform advocates planned to rally in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, California, to push for changes in the nation's voting system and a "full investigation" of the 2000 presidential election.
Despite losing the popular vote to Vice President Al Gore, George W. Bush won the presidency following a contentious five weeks of court battles and recounts that gave him the necessary electoral votes.
Saturday's demonstrations are organized by Voter March, the same group that brought thousands to Washington to protest Bush's inauguration in January. District police said at the time that the size of the demonstration rivaled those held at the Nixon inaugural in 1973.
Voter March founder Louis Posner said that he expected a diverse crowd at Saturday's rally -- "male, female, old, young, black, white, many of the 'first-time' protesters," he said.
Voter March seeks a reform of the election process -- including possibly scrapping the Electoral College system that allowed Bush to prevail.
The hotly contested election went into overtime after the November 7 vote when Florida's ballots -- and the state's 25 electoral votes that would decide the presidency -- were questioned.
The final blow to Gore's hopes came late on December 12, when the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, ruled that Florida's attempts to recount by hand ballots that had been ignored on a machine count were unconstitutional.
Although, the court said that the state could remedy the problems, it allotted no time for such action before the midnight, December 12 deadline for the state to choose its electors.
"The indignation over the Supreme Court's highly partisan decision cuts across all social lines," Posner said. "Voter March continues to grow as more and more people commit their energies to ensuring that the rights of voters can never again be trampled."