The 2000 Presidential Election


The US election of 2000 was one of the closest and most unusual presidential elections in history. 5 weeks after the election it was finally certain that George Bush, a Republican from Texas had defeated Vice President Al Gore.

On November 7, 2000 more than 100 million Americans went to vote. Because of the American election system, the candidate who has the majority of electoral votes becomes President. Although all across America more people voted for Al Gore, he didn’t get enough electoral votes to win.

As the election evening went on, it became clear that the contest would be decided in Florida, a state with 25 electoral votes.

On the morning after the election it turned out that Bush had won Florida by only a few hundreds votes. But many ballots had to be counted again because it was not clear who they were for. In some Florida counties people must vote by punching a hole in cards with a machine. Some machines couldn’t read the cards and they were thrown away.


During the next few weeks it was the problem of the courts to decide if the Florida ballots should be recounted or not. Some courts said they should, others said they shouldn’t.

The case went to the Supreme Court of the United States, the highest court of the country. It stopped the recounting of ballots and Bush became the winner of Florida’s 25 electoral votes. Although Gore defeated Bush by half a million votes , George Bush became the 43rd president of the United States.



The American President - Table of Contents

Presidential Election 2008 - Table of Contents

Downloadable PDF Text- and Worksheets


Online Exercises




  • although =while
  • ballots = a piece of paper on which you vote
  • candidate =person who wants to become president
  • case =argument
  • certain =final, clear
  • closest =here: both candidates almost had the same number of votes
  • contest = here : same as election
  • court = a place where it is decided if something is against the law or not
  • county = a part of a state that has its own small government
  • decide =here: to influence the outcome of
  • defeat = to win against
  • electoral votes =votes that each state has in the Electoral College
  • majority = when a person wins more than half
  • punch = to push a hole through something
  • recount = count again
  • turn out =to happen
  • unusual = different from what is normal