When looking at the storied Presidential Election of 2000, one is short to find one word to describe all of it. Long? Confusing? Entertaining? Historic? It was truly an event like no other in American history and words fail to do it justice. However, with all elections, it was truly an event of numbers, and the one number that that can describe those 37 days better than anything is 537. For it was 537 people (roughly equivalent to the population of the Vatican1) that became current Republican President George W. Bush's margin of victory in the hotly contested state of Florida during the 2000 Election. Those votes wound up giving him the 25 electoral votes he needed to reach a total of 271, one more than needed to win the general election2. In other words, 537 Americans were the difference between who would sit in the White House and who wouldn't. Now, to truly discuss this matter in full, one must look at it in two parts, November seventh, Election Day 2000, and everything after. For as important as the election itself is in the case of putting someone in a government position, the days after the voting machine levers stopped being pulled in this case was a whole other story in itself, and one that would alter the way courts made decisions, the way the media reported and the way people would define "too close to call.".
November 7th, 2000: an election day that all American citizens remember, and that all history books will never forget. TV coverage for the event was like no other, the five major networks, ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX and CBS, were all doing round-the clock coverage and making use of flashy graphics, powerful theme music, and an election return ticker that closely resembled something that ESPN would use to show football scores3. Seven o" clock was the time that most networks went on air and by then the polls had already closed in eleven states, most of which went to the current Texas Governor and Republican candidate George Walker Bush.