Once the closeness of the election in Florida was clear, both the Bush and Gore campaigns organized themselves for the ensuing legal process.
On November 13 the Gore campaign and Volusia and Palm Beach Counties sued to have the deadlines extended.Meanwhile, the Bush campaign worked to stop the recount.As the manual recounts continued, the battle to certify the results intensified.On November 17, Judge Terry Lewis of Leon County Circuit Court permitted Harris to certify the election results without the manual recounts, but on the same day the Florida Supreme Court stayed that decision until it could consider an appeal by Gore.The same day, a state judge upheld that deadline but ruled that further recounts could be considered later.
Florida's secretary of state, Katherine Harris, a Republican, then gave counties until p.m.On December 8, the Florida justices, by a 4-3 vote, rejected the selective use of manual recounts in just four counties and ordered immediate manual recounts of all ballots in the state where no vote for president had been machine-recorded, also known as undervotes. On December 4, the Court ordered the Florida Supreme Court to clarify its ruling that had extended the certification date. Meanwhile, on December 6 the Republican-controlled Florida legislature convened a special session to appoint a slate of electors pledged to Bush, as the U. Constitution bestows upon state legislatures the duty to determine how its state's electors are appointed. On December 13, Gore conceded the election to Bush in a nationally televised address.On December 9, the Court suspended the manual recount, in progress for only several hours, on the grounds that irreparable harm could befall Bush, according to the order written by Justice Antonin Scalia (see U. During the recount, controversy ensued with the discovery of various irregularities that had occurred in the voting process in several counties.Miami-Dade County decided on November 17 to conduct a recount but suspended it on November 22.The Gore campaign sued to force Miami-Dade County to continue its recount, but the Florida Supreme Court refused to consider the request.Bush led the election-night vote count in Florida by 1,784 votes.