December 8, 2000 – Election 2000 and America’s cliffhanger. Now it was all down to Florida – and the battle of wills was underway. The Gore team sought a recount. The Bush team fought against it. The Bush team were fortunate to have an ally in Katherine Harris, who just happened to be Florida’s Secretary of State and who also, just so happened, to be the Florida co-chair of the Bush-Cheney Campaign in that state. No favorites there – nope. So even though the original votes cast were being painstakingly slow in coming, the result was still too close to call, and many foresaw this nightmare of our democracy heading straight to the Supreme Court to get straightened out.
But while the votes were being counted, challenged and fought over, the divisions between supporters of George Bush and Al Gore were dividing the country further and further. The deep rifts and dissension this election was causing was permeating just about every aspect of American society. All over the country, protests and counter-protests were organized. The conspiracy theories and threats of rigged election rang from the walls of workplace to the halls of Congress. This was an election like no other election in American history.
And on this 8th day of December it was far from over. With results from Florida showing a Bush lead as low as 100 votes, the search for uncounted ballots was on and some counties were calling for recounts. And there was the issue of voting machines in Miami-Dade County kicking out 9,000 votes which claimed to have no vote for President now had some wondering if there really were votes cast on those ballots the machines just didn’t catch them. And the issue was now not with just Miami-Dade County but every county which hadn’t checked the so-called Under-Votes cast. And now it was a question of waiting for the authority to begin checking all those votes.
Thus began the Era of The Hanging Chad.
All that and a lot more, but the preoccupation for the country on this December 8, 2000 was the election as reported by The CBS World News Roundup: late Edition.