Former Supreme Court justice tours Fla. state

Charles Wells speaks out about 2000 election


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice who served when lawsuits decided the winner of the 2000 election is touring the state with an inside story of the decisions.

Florida's election failure in 2012 is proof history does repeat itself.

For 36 Days, Florida's Capitol and Supreme Court were under siege, from national and international media crews, wanting and waiting for a decision on who would be President.

Now, the man who headed Florida's Supreme Court during this conflict is telling the inside story.

Former Supreme Court Justice Charles Wells said just days after the election, he discovered flaws in state election laws.

"And I thought to myself, you know just like those astronauts on Apollo 13, Houston we got a problem here," said Wells.

During the turmoil, the court which usually takes months to make a decision, was making them in hours.

"We developed that opinion as a whole," said Wells. "All members of the court were in the conference."

Florida election law has changed dramatically since this court was the center of international attention.

Even with changes in the law, Wells isn't sure problems won't surface again.

"Until they are stress-tested, we don't know how much capitol we have in the bank," Wells said.

In 2012, it took Miami-Dade County three days to count ballots. Lawmakers changed elections law again this spring.

The court ultimately issued two opinions ordering all ballots be counted, the first was unanimous. The second was a 4-3 split.