What would have happened had the U.S. Supreme Court not intervened in the Florida election contest and the Florida courts had ultimately found in Gore’s favor? The answer to this question depends in part on when the Florida courts reached their decision.
Section 5 of Title 3 codifies the so-called “safe harbor” provision of the Electoral Count Act. This section states:
If any State shall have provided, by laws enacted prior to the day fixed for the appointment of the electors, for its final determination of any controversy or contest concerning the appointment of all or any of the electors of such State, by judicial or other methods or procedures, and such determination shall have been made at least six days before the time fixed for the meeting of the electors, such determination made pursuant to such law so existing on said day, and made at least six days prior to said time of meeting of the electors, shall be conclusive, and shall govern in the counting of the electoral votes as provided in the Constitution, and as hereinafter regulated, so far as the ascertainment of the electors appointed by such State is concerned.
3 U.S.C. § 5.