JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Former Vice President Al Gore on Sunday told blacks embittered by his narrow loss in the 2000 presidential election that "it doesn't have to be this way," and urged them to turn anger into energy at the polls.
"Don't turn it into angry acts or angry words," Gore said at one stop during a tour of mostly black churches. He also asked worshipers to take advantage of a state law that permitted voting before election day Nov. 2.
"Early voting is a good idea," he said. "You want to give them plenty of time to count all the votes."
Polls indicate that Florida's 27 electoral votes are up for grabs, with the race closely divided between President Bush and Democratic challenger Sen. John F. Kerry.
Gore lost the White House by 537 votes in the state after the U.S. Supreme Court voted to stop ballot recounts in several Florida counties.
Gore is taking a two-day swing through Florida that ends today in Broward and Palm Beach counties, the centers of the 2000 election dispute.