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And The Winner Is... Nobody! 1324

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the who-else-is-sick-of-this dept.
Allright, while Gore has 260 electoral votes, and Bush has 246, it all comes down to florida. Its amazingly close: Gore actually has won the popular vote. He appears to actually have about a 200,000 vote lead over Bush across the US, but as anyone who's taken any civics class knows, the people don't elect the president in the US. One thing is for sure: this election isn't over. Florida is split even, with bush ahead by about 2,000 votes (Out of nearly 6 million voters!), but Florida law requires a recount when the election is this close.

Some interesting side notes in florida:

  • Apparently font and layout issues on ballots caused about 2000 seniors in Palm Beach with less then 20/20 vision to vote for Buchanen instead of Gore. They showed the ballots, and it is definitely confusing.
  • Absentee ballots are going to be counted. There were 2700 in 96 although I don't know how many there are this year. Absentee votes are largely military, which tend to be republican.
  • The recount could be done by the end of the day.

If you're looking to laugh (and I know I am) I suggest reading the Onion's election story, which is even funnier considering just how close the election is.

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And The Winner Is... Nobody!

Comments Filter:
  • by powerlord (28156)
    First bit SHOULD have read

    Funny, it looks idiotic and something that the media should be refrained from doing (notice, I said they should be refrained, I don't believe the
    media has in its capacity the ability to sit on its own hands) from this side of the Atlantic too.
  • by ScuzzMonkey (208981) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @05:57AM (#638167) Homepage
    I agree that the system is broke, but I don't think you can completely absolve Nader, either, unless you happen to think he's an idiot. I don't: I think he is bright enough to realize that in the current system, broken or not, his candidacy pulled voters away from Gore. That he still chose to run means he bears some responsibility for the result. Maybe he doesn't care, and that's fine, but there are far larger differences between Gore and Bush than he's been telling you.

    This is a recurring problem that the left has which the right successfully avoids--no one on the left knows how to compromise. Everyone is so stuck on their principles that they don't seem to realize that politics is the art of the compromise and that you can't always have everything your own way. In my view, it's the right's ability to compromise on marginal candidates that gives them a power far out of proportion to their actual numbers. They can organize themselves and get out the vote for a candidate who is close to what they want, even if he/she is not their ideal. The left gets splintered and fractionalized over relatively minor issues and has difficulty building mass behind a single candidate. They have to rely on masses of swing voters rather than solid blocks like the right can--this is why large turnouts tend to favor the Dems. People are generally more left than right in the US, but you wouldn't know it by looking at most elections.
  • Isn't odd that the public feels that the Military vote will suport the one canidate who is a deserter?

    Not really. Most will vote for who ever seems more likely to favor giving us a raise, which is usually republician.

  • Err, I actually know quite a few people who give wrong answers. Perhaps you just don't think enough for yourself and do as others *appear* to do.

    Your voting rights (at least where I come from) are private. Hence, the secret ballot. I'm sure you know people who keep their politcal ideals and voting pursuasions (sp?) close to their heart. Finally, I give a wrong answer because I don't like and disagree with a lot of these polls, especially exit polls. Giving a wrong answer is my way of protesting against the polls by trying to dilute their accuracy. Look at the media coverage last night based on incorrect exit polls, or incorrect analysis of them. Hopefully they didn't significantly influence anywhere where the polls were still open.

    Why would I lie about such a thing? That's a strong accusation, but easily made when anonymous.

    I don't give wrong answers because I'm trying to be cool or rebellious. I'm not some child suffering from teenage angst anymore.

    BTW, there's no way that I'm a "bald-faced liar" - I have full head of hair.
  • Is this a joke? And I don't get it..
  • Electoral votes have been cast against the popular vote of that electoral vote's region nine times in the past -- in a race this tight, it would seem more likely to occur than ever before.

    It seems to me less likely than ever before. In most cases where it's happened before, the elector(s) who defected didn't affect the outcome, knew they wouldn't affect the outcome, and did it just to make a statement or somesuch. The one instance I know of where this wasn't the case is 1876, where there was some very shady dealing going on.

    Of course, I won't rule out the possibility of shady dealing going on here too.

  • are they selling that bumper sticker yet?
  • by ToLu the Happy Furby (63586) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @06:01AM (#638193)
    Florida's Electoral could vote for whomever they damn well please.


    As I understand, and i'm not an expert, but I heard this on the radio this morning, this can only occur in states that have "faithless electors". I'm not sure if florida is one of them...if it is there is a chance on december 18 that they cast thier vote in favor of who won the popular election.

    It's more complicated than that.

    Many states have provisions forbidding so-called "faithless electors"--i.e. electors who vote different from the popular vote in the state. However, these provisions are all on the state level, not the federal level, and thus are (arguably) Constitutionally irrelevent to the actual Electoral College vote on Dec. 18.

    I believe it is generally accepted that if an elector were to change his or her vote in a state with a provision against faithless electors, then the changed vote would stand but the elector would have some shit to pay with their home state. On the other hand, this would certainly go to the Supreme Court if it occured, and given the current anti-Federalist leanings of conservative judges, that result may be too close to call as well.
  • by Chacham (981) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:19AM (#638194) Homepage Journal

    Even if Gore picked up a few thousand in a recount, the military vote still has to come in, and that is generally Republican. I highly doubt Gore will win.

  • by provolt (54870) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:19AM (#638196)
    To everyone who said that your vote doesn't count... HA! I thank each and every one of you for making my vote count even more. :)

    No if I can just get eveyone to not vote... I can vote myself in as dictator...

    provolt
  • by Corbets (169101) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:19AM (#638198) Homepage
    I'm a Wisconsin native, and cast my ballot for Bush - and let me tell you, I sure felt good when I saw the results, even though Gore won the state. With a difference of only 6000 votes, it wasn't quite as close as Florida, but it was obvious that my vote definitely made a difference. I encourage everyone to think back to this election in four years, regardless of how it comes out, and consider that when it's time to vote again.
  • Excuse me.

    I've noticed that a lot of you seem to feel that, since the Electoral Vote and the Popular Vote are different, the system is flawed. You're missing the point entirely. First things first, America is not a democracy. We're a Republic. We look like a Democratic Republic, and we are, but that doesn't make us a Democracy. We never claimed to make every person's vote equal. Dictionary.com defines "republic" as '2. A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them.' And we fit the bill. The supreme power lies in the citizens. This is not the same as a "Democracy," which is defined as '4. Majority rule.' Please understand this. I've heard so many media moguls talk about how this will forever change the way American elections take place, because there's a chance of the popular vote not coming out with the win. That is exactly how the framers envisioned it.

    I live in Alabama. We have 9 electoral votes. Not a huge number, not a tiny number. However, the people in California, New York, and even Florida don't have the same issues as myself. I personally believe that the popular vote should be split up into how many states side with them; it would be a lot more representative of what the country needs. That's not the point. The point is that the Electoral College was set up for this specific purpse, and to remove it would be to completely change America's form of government, from a Democratic Republic to a Democracy. Now, I'm sure no one really needs to be told this, but pure democracy fails in a large society, always. We would either still have to be short of pure democracy, or we would have to watch our nation crumble as we changed to a form of government that has already been proven to fail. I've ranted, and I'm sorry, but people just need to understand what's going on, and they need to understand their country's governmental system, before they start to think about the candidates.

    My last note is this: I will never vote for a candidate that is going to support the murder of innocent babies. Bush has said that he'll do what he can to stop it, and he hasn't dragged around his supporters by even pretending he has any power to overthrow Roe v. Wade right now. Maybe next election. Right now I'll take what I can get.

    Now get it straight people, we live in a Republic. Please, remember this, and keep in mind that no innocent baby deserves death. Thank you.

    --Josh Adams, Presidential candidate in 2032

  • Now, what's this about giving the seat to his widow? I say embalm him and nail him to his chair: he can't do any more damage that way than a normal senator.

    Eric

  • This is the most insightful and interesting thing I have read about the presidential election this year. My only request would be that you somehow make available a file with numbers that support this-- not that I disbelieve you, but I think this would be an amazing little document.
  • heh, they're both the antichrist as far as I'm concerned.
  • At some point it seemed that a likely - or at least possible - outcome in terms of electoral votes would be 271/269

    That would be rather difficult, seeing that there are only 538 electoral votes to be had. 270 electoral votes is an outright win; 269-269 is a tie.

  • ." I just think that I should provide for myself, not that you or anybody else should have to through your tax dollars! Similarly, you should provide for yourself and not depend on my tax dollars.

    I think that's an excellent idea. What confuses me is what that has to do with Bush being a better president than Gore.

    I suppose I shouldn't be too hard on you. I, too, once believed the republican rhetoric about wanting smaller government. But their actions have spoken louder than their words, and I no longer believe their lies.

  • > As a matter of interest, can the queen overule the Canadian governor general, or not?

    The Governor General represents the Queen of Canada (i.e. Betty II). In a painfully hypothetical sense, it's conceivable.

    However, imagining that the Governor General would veto a bill duly passed by parliament and the senate is on the order of a person winning three consecutive multi-million dollar lottaries. The Queen stepping into Canadian politics has about the same probability as all the air molecules in your room spontaneously moving into your coffee cup. (It isn't going to happen.)

    One of the few situations where the Governor General (or the Lieutenant Governor for the provinces) has some disgression to act is when the prime minister (or premier of a province) asks him/her to dissolve parliament and call for an election. In a few cases, the GG (or LG) has refused.
  • Is there really "no mandate" though? To be honest, I'm not even really sure what people mean when they use that term right now. Even before we got into this mess, people were speculating that whoever wins the election will have almost zero chance of holding it for more than one term. In light of the current events, I think this has only become more accurate. Thus we have the prospect of, in effect, a lame-duck president-elect -- someone that, unless he tries something drastic, has almost zero chance of winning re-election in four years.

    This person has basically two choices: accept that fate and serve as a true lame-duck president (which is what a lot of these "no mandate" suggestions amount to), or, more interestingly, take some bold moves that might endear him to the electorate in four years' time. How can that second possibility play out?

    Consider Ehud Barak in Israel this summer -- he was leading without majority support, and knew that his government would likely fall when parlaiment reconvened in a few months time. Having nothing to lose, he set out for all-or-nothing peace negotiations with the Palestinians in Washington. The fact that these negotiations were unsuccessful is beside the point for the moment -- by acting decisively and accepting an un-politicianly degree of risk, he has for the time being put off that collapse of his government, and put himself in a somewhat better position to retain power.

    I think that this is the sort of initiative the current president has to take. Yes, I agree, getting any bills through a congress so evenly divided will be difficult if not impossible, but that doesn't mean it's not worth trying. Further, there are lots of things the president can do without really involving the congress in the first place -- the way most foreign policy matters are handled, for example.

    I think it's not so much that we have "no mandate", but that we have a man who now has basically nothing to lose, and is cornered. Placed in that situation, what will he do? Nothing? Maybe. But if he wants to double the lifespan of his job, he should try for a bit more than that. At least one of the potential lame-duck president-elects is surely smart enough to realize this. (As for the other, I'm sure someone will let Bush know sooner or later :). It's no sure bet by any means, but I would look for the next administration to be anything but deadlocked and anemic.



  • Thanks for the link! It was very useful; it really helped point out the ramifications between the candidates.

    The one thing it didn't state is that if Gore is elected, it would make the brain drain easier because of the Democrats traditional support of immigration; see President Clinton's new H-1B bill that was just passed: 80 000 new licenses for immigrants to come on in, as well as loosening up the paperwork and restrictions that those immigrants (I, myself, am on TN Visa status, hoping to upgrade to H-1B).

    But thanks for the link again; moderators, please mod up the above (parent, one level up) statement.

  • And now, we go live to our special corrispondant in the polls in Florida. Tell us what you see.

    I see dead people...

  • How very British. Government controlled by the acceptabilitly of its actions, rather than by the written constitution. Actually, I suppose the same thing really happens everywhere. Its just the UK government makes no pretence.

    As a matter of interest, can the queen overule the Canadian governor general, or not ?
  • The 50% disenfranchisement statement was probably a mistake.

    You said:

    such that a vote from North Dakota counts as much as a vote from California

    but under the electoral college system, a vote from North Dakota counts as much as two point nine votes from California.

    You rightly claim that someone only taking 100% of the vote in the 10 largest states would win in a direct election, but miss the entire point that this is 50% of the people in the country. And should some intransigent individuals in one of those ten states vote for the other candidate, depriving our "big-state" candidate of his majority, then votes in the small states are equally as important as their colleagues in the big states. A single voter in a small state can affect the outome of the election, even if the rest of the state votes for the other candidate.

    --
  • I see a lot of people saying Bush is going to be harmless as president, but there is something they are overlooking. Bush is likely to appoint between 2 and 4 supreme court justices to the Supreme Court this term because the justices are going to be retiring.

    Please don't buy into that Republicrat FUD. Yes, the next president will appoint some SC justices. What this argument fails to take into account is the fact that which justices resign depends on who is president.

    None of the justices are so infirm that they will have to resign within the next four years. None of the liberal justices wants to be replaced by a conservative justice, so if Bush wins, the liberal justices will all stay on, and only conservative justices will resign. Vice versa if Gore wins. This election will not change the ideological makeup of the supreme court.

  • Doesn't adding up non parametric statistics give you a queasy feeling mathematically speaking.

    Approval voting is the only system I know of that has the critical mathematical property -- transitivity -- needed to prevent irrational results.

  • by Rupert (28001) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @12:36PM (#638250) Homepage Journal
    I don't have population figures for the various states to hand, so I have made the assumption that congressional districts contain equal numbers of people. I think for the purposes of this argument this assumption holds up.

    Each state (I have also excluded DC) has the following number of electoral votes, and n-2 "population units". I have only listed the 11 biggest states.

    CA 54
    NY 33
    TX 32
    FL 25
    PA 23
    IL 22
    OH 21
    NJ 15
    NC 14
    VA 13
    GA 13

    Add in WV (5) to give us a majority.

    That's 270 electoral votes, and 246 ( == 270 - (2 * 12)) pop-units. The population of the country is 438, so these twelve states are 246/438 or 56% of the population (my math was a little fuzzy before). 51% of 56% is 28.6%, or the %age of the popular vote required to win all those states.

    The 39 states not listed above (but including WV) thus have 44% of the population and 273 electoral votes. You only need 22.4% of the popular vote to get 51% in each of these states.


    --
  • by MousePotato (124958) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @12:40PM (#638253) Homepage Journal
    There was mega incompetance going on. I changed my registration online back in may, showed up with my new card and didn't get to vote. I wasn't on the roll and I waited an hour and a half for the woman at the desk to try and get through to the phone number they call for verifying legit regs. I had to give up. I saw this type of thing happening to other people who had registered online or changed their voter reg online. The folks working the polls just did not care and lots of younger voters were visibly discouraged by the whole process (which wasn't good either). Miami-Dade county just was not prepared for the turnout nor did they seem to have any reliable infrastructure to resolve problems. The rest of the US should be very weary of what happens with the vote here. After all even the dead vote around here... just ask Xavier Suarez and Joe Carollo.I am pissed and so are a lot of people down here. The more I think about it the more inspired I am to write letters and the whole nine yards to all involved.
  • by American AC in Paris (230456) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @06:52AM (#638264) Homepage
    My take on Nader:

    It's been the job of the green propaganda machine to entrench the message that "A vote for Nader is _not_ a vote for Bush; they're both the same, and suck, at that." To this end, I have something to say.

    While both major parties have been appealing more and more to centrist views, it is still true that the Democrats lean left and the Republicans lean right. Gore is an experienced statesman with a good bit of intelligence, and despite his problems, he has decidedly more "little people" support in his veins than his Republican counterpart, who lacks Gore's experience and intelligence (but, apparently, makes up for the difference with charisma and bravado, and a slew of decidedly conservative advisors.)

    Of the people who voted Nader, exit polls show that 25% would simply not have voted, while of the remaining 75%, 5 out of every 6 people would have voted for Gore. Had Nader stepped down, Gore would have won the election soundly, no questions asked. There's the only statistic I'll quote: It ain't one to one, but it's closer to that than the supposed "half-vote" notion that's become popular as of late.

    For those of you who voted for Nader because Nader was the candidate who best supported your views, you bet on a losing horse from the start, and now stand a good chance of having an underqualified marionette serving a rightist adgenda in the White House. Politics is compromise, and without compromise, the other side will win.

    For those of you who voted Green to help bolster their federal matching funds, I must insist that casting a vote in the interest of financial gain strikes me as very much against the platform of the Green Party.

    For those of you who cast a vote for Nader because you're sick and tired of the system and think both major parties are incurably corrupt, congratulations. You have accomplished -nothing- beyond satisfying your own smug little idealistic worldview. You might as well have written in MC Hammer, Snoopy, or the Magic School Bus, because nobody besides the two major candidates had any chance of winning the election, and protest votes are historically forgettable.

    Finally, for those of you who wanted to send a message to the Democratic Party, I think you've succeeded; they now stand a good chance of losing a major election that would otherwise have easily been in the bag. Sadly, if Dubya wins, it'll be a good while before they can actually do anything about it, as the US will effectively have a one party government (they have the Legislative Branch still, they'll have the Executive branch, and would soon have the Judicial branch, as well.)

    Nader had a very real impact on this campaign. Should Dubya win, Nader's campaign will have been a major factor in his getting there. Unless you truly and wholeheartedly believe that both Gore and Bush are equally evil, unfit to govern and not representative of your views, chances are, this will upset you somewhat.

  • There is currently no frontier on this planet, much less in this country. This bothers me. In times past, people like me, when they grew sick of people like you, had somewhere to go. People went to the frontier to create new communities for themselves when no existing community was suitable for them. Well Junior, there are communities which I find suitable enough to live in.

    This country is on an inexorable path towards socialism. The majority of citizens become increasingly lazy and demand more and more goods and services be provided to them. Paying for these goods, obviously, falls to the taxpayer. The majority of taxes are payed by a minority of citizens (people demonized by Gore and Nader) who happen to earn the most money. Now, I'm only 23 but according to the Liberal definition, I am rich. I am not rich. I am single. I work hard. I am intelligent. I am good at what I do. I have no problem with charging a premium for my services. I am, and likely will be until I die, a slave of the "common citizen." After less than two years in the workplace the "citizens" are already helping themselves to 35% (federal only) of everything I earn, as though they had anything to do with it.

    This brings me to the frontier problem. Where can I go to escape enslavement. Europe is socialist. Canada is Europe, so is Australia. The US is becoming Europe. TV in Asia sucks. Africa maybe? Maybe not, too many wars.

    So, where can people like me go to form a "more perfect union"? Maybe we just take over this little operation. Then again, the state of Texas still has the right to split into two parts, one remaining a part of the US, the other becoming an independant nation. I hate Texas, but anything's better than this dump.

    be seeing you,
    Doc
  • by iamsure (66666) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @06:53AM (#638267) Homepage
    First, we have the 3500 ballots from Palm Beach County that may need to be recast, due to the VERY confusing layout of the ballot that may have given the votes for gore to buchanan. (http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/DailyNews /ELECTION_WatchdogPart4001107.html)

    Next, we have a pile of absentee ballots, with a roughly 50/50 leaning for the vote.

    So, just the public vote is seriously in question (not to mention the 9 lost ballot boxes in Dade, nor the automatic recount).

    The public vote determines the electoral vote.

    Or does it?

    Some electoral college votes voted OPPOSITE of their affiliation in both 1972 and 1960. In addition to that, if everything is as projected in the electoral right now (and bush took florida), if just *eleven* bush electoral votes in other states change their minds, Gore would win.

    If you wonder about those electoral college votes, you should. They have a federal right to vote their opinion. Some states do have penalties against changing their stated vote, but the federal overrides the state, and -- it would go to a federal judge.

    Which, would be close to call as well.

    We wont *reallllly* know until Decemeber 8th, for sure, for sure.
  • I'm sorry, I'm a man - but I'm for abortion rights - but I just don't see it as being all that important of an issue.

    Use a condom. Or go to Canada. DUH.

    There are many other very important issues out there, which the republicans and democrats have sold us out on. Civil Liberties issues, Freedom of speech issues, um - hear about the environment? Global warming? Voting Democrat or Republican is basically choosing which big business interests you want to be sold out to.

    Don't worry about a Bush mandate tho - with a republican congress, be sure to be watching out for the following coming soon to a totalitarian regime near you, mandate or no mandate;
    The ten commandments recited at every public school with the pledge of allegance.
    No, strike that, every public school shut down and replaced with a private Christian school (hey, those Catholic schoolgirl uniforms ain't so bad).
    Banned flag burning.
    Book burning.
    Aquittal for Microsoft.
    All national forests and preserves sold to Texaco.
    Dismantling of the EPA.
    Flat income tax.
    No "death tax" (inheritance tax).
    No "marriage penalty" (normal tax rules for jointly filing couples).
    Concealed carry permits nationwide.
    Drinking age raised to 100.
    Drunk driving laws rescinded (he's from Texas, remember?)
    Capital gains rate cut to 0.
    Labor unions outlawed.
    Church of scientology banned.
    No gays in the military, or anywhere else.
    Pr0n filtered banned from "America's Internet". (hell, we invented it, we can filter it dammit, we're Americans dammit!)
    Most TV stations taken off the air.
    Most Hollywood producers thrown in jail.
    A new "red scare".
    Castro shitting bricks (which is the real reason Bush may win Florida. Lots of really pissed off Cuban exiles there. LOTS).
    More jails.
    Lethal injection banned, replaced by "a tall tree, and a short rope".
    Cows, cows, everywhere COWS!
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @06:56AM (#638294) Homepage Journal
    Looks like the Onion scooped it. We'll see how close the actual event was to their coverage when the winner is announced. I bet they're dead on.

    This is a win-win situation at this point. If Bush takes it, the Democrats will have some serious thinking to do on their platform or risk more losses stemming from third party candidates. And the American people will have some serious thinking to do on the electoral college system, as Gore actually won the popular vote.

    If Bush loses, we continue with the current stalemate between republican controlled congress and the president. Anything that makes laws more difficult to pass is fine with me.

    Of course, the biggest players in the game, the corporations, have more power than the president does and there's no balance to keep them in check, so apart from Nader potentially getting his 5% (Looks like he got about 2%) the whole thing was pretty much an exercise in futility. Which didn't mean I didn't get out there and vote. I had local issues I wanted to weigh in on (My state passed a law allowing for the medical use of Marijuana, by an overwhelming margin. Anything that pokes the DEA in the eye is also OK with me.)

  • by kfg (145172) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @06:57AM (#638295)
    under the American republican system run for public office and cost an opposing candidate votes!

    The absolute NERVE of the man.

    It ought to be made illegal.

    KFG
  • by jjohn (2991) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @07:00AM (#638330) Homepage Journal

    Refusal 2000

    Americans Prefer Their Candidates Dead

    As Dan Rather said during the presidential election coverage, the race was "so close you couldn't put cigarette paper between them", which provides some insight into where Rather's mind was. Synchronistically, Comedy Central's prime time movie last night was _Half Baked_, the charming story of New York city stoners and their wacky, toked-up antics.

    As of this writing, the new President of these United States isn't known. The initial results of Florida's general election gave Bush the state by only 2000 votes. Because this slim lead easily falls within the margin of error, the home state of Mikey Mouse and German tourist murderers is recounting the ballets -- or blown out candles or colored marbles depending on the county. Whoever is declared the winner there will surely go on to claim "a clear mandate from the people". Considering the source, that mandate will likely include Geritol and cheap stool softners for all.

    The presidential race wasn't the only bit of madness happening last evening. The population of the great state of Missouri reelected the popular governor Robert Holden, a democrat from Jefferson City. His adversary was the sober Republican candidate Jim Talent (that's his real name, honest). The Show-Me state voters chose the candidate who would best address the state's flat economy, lackluster education and low prestige. As Newt Gingrich was fond of saying "history is the best indicator of future performance" (which is utterly false in the domain of probability), so Missouri went with the devil they knew. The biggest obstruction facing the new governor is keeping voters' hopes alive while he isn't. Bob Holden is dead. Very dead. Still, he seemed to campaign better than Talent, so he has that going for him.

    As all loyal viewers of the space opera "Babylon 5" knew, actor Jerry Doyle (Mr. Garibaldi from the series) ran for Representative from California's district 24. As an actor with political ambitions, Doyle was in good company. Senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee appeared in numerous bad network TV shows in the 80s. Senator Sonny Bono, dead, was very popular before his death was widely known. Although I'd rather, let's not forget the Great Communicator Ronald Reagan, or mayor Clint Eastwood. Americans love their actors, but not the ones that have done Sci-Fi. Doyle was soundly trounced by the incumbent Brad Sherman of Sherman Oaks (really). I suppose the money and fame can't buy you an election after all.

    Let's not forget our own state Massachusetts. Once again, the bloated and hoary friend to all DWI offenders, Ted Kennedy secured his senate seat for another six years. As long as there's booze in the state, Kennedy will continue to run and win elections. The more interesting story for the Mass elections was the ballot questions. In a state known for being pathologically democrat, it was fun to see how many republican initiatives were supported by the ballot questions. Tax cuts, toll rebates and no new health care policies all sound awfully much like what George W. was stammering about during his campaign. And what would warm old Dubba's heart more than to know that we as a state enjoy killing grayhounds? Sure, those dogs aren't convicted prisoners being executed, but we'll get to that.

    In the end, this confused, befuddling, irritating election has served to renew my faith in our representative democracy. Voters caused this mess, not big businesses with political action committees. We citizens can send the jumbled message to Washington that something unclear is perhaps bothering us and we're not going to take it very much longer unless we have to. It is clear that neither major party candidate enjoys popular support. Most voters seemed to fear that the *other* candidate would be elected. Truly, election 2000 was a contest of Lessers. It seemed that those voting for Bush were trying to send a message about the Clinton years. I'm not referring to the eight years of morbidly obese economic growth, but the bald-faced manipulation that Clinton engaged in. Even supporters of Clinton have to admit that Slick Willy is a master confidence man. He lied on nationally televised video tape under oath and he escape any reprimand for it. That's slick. Gore doesn't have the charisma or the cajones of Clinton and that's why voters are venting their spleen on him.

    Just to rub it in, Clinton reminds us that he "still has 10 more weeks to quack". Quack on, you licentious, profligate rogue. America can't get enough of you. ;-)

  • by rodentia (102779) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @07:01AM (#638334)
    The panhandle is central time, but the polls close at the same time across the state, opening and closing an hour earlier in Pensacola, by the clock.
  • by TheVoteIsACoinToss (252817) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @07:01AM (#638335)

    Actually, it's NOT a big difference. Consider this: there were 5816467 total Bush and Gore voters in Florida, as of the current tally, with 1805 the count in Bush's favor.

    The possibilities:

    1) All Florida Bush or Gore voters went to their polling stations yesterday and punched a line out on the ballot for their candidate. The individual ballots were tallied.

    2) All Florida Bush or Gore voters went to their polling stations yesterday and flipped a fair coin. A heads was tallied for Bush, a tails for Gore.

    Are these possibilities distinguishable statistically? As it currently stands, no.

    The distribution of random processes such as a coin toss are goverened by Poisson statistics, also known as the counting statistics. The mean width of such a distribution is simply the square root of the total counts. In this case, thats:

    sqrt(5816467)=2412

    Larger than the difference between them! So, independent of finer-grained district-based tallying in Florida, the coin-toss hypothesis is just as likely as the voter choice hypothesis. If you gave the numbers to a statistician, and asked them to prove a bias in either direction, he would be unable to.

    If you doubt the accuracy of this statistic, pick your favorite programming language with an accurate pseudo-random number generator with large enough cycle period, generate 5816467 0's or 1's randomly, count them into n[0] and n[1], and look at the difference between n[0] and n[1]. Repeat this many times, and average the absolute difference. Your answer will converge to the square root in several hundred runs.

    This is scary.

  • by Sodium Attack (194559) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @05:51PM (#638404)
    I don't see the U.S. getting rid of the electoral college any time soon.

    To do that would require a constitutional amendment. To pass a constitutional amendment, it must be ratified by 3/4 of the states--38 states. If there are at least 13 states that won't ratify an amendment, it won't pass.

    The electoral college gives more power to the voters of some states, at the expense of others. Voters in less populous states have more voting power than they would in a direct popular vote. This is because each state gets N+2 electoral votes, where N is more or less proportional to population. The "+2" increases the power of smaller states proportionately more than those of larger states.

    Also, with an electoral college, voters in states which are often closely divided have more power than they would under a direct popular vote, at the expense of voters in states which always go strongly towards one party or the other.

    Switching to a direct popular vote would take power away from those states where voters currently have above-average influence on the result of the election. Now, I haven't done a state-by-state analysis, but are there at least 13 such states which would lose voting power by switching to a popular vote? I certainly imagine so. Will those states ratify a constitutional amendment to use a popular vote to elect the president? Of course not!

  • by NMerriam (15122) <NMerriam@artboy.org> on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @07:54AM (#638407) Homepage
    Wow -- Gore was in Vietnam, carrying a full pack and a rifle. Bush was back home flying on the weekends and snorting coke. I can definitely see why the military guys prefer Bush...

    ---------------------------------------------
  • by CoughDropAddict (40792) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @06:01PM (#638422) Homepage
    #!/usr/bin/perl -w

    print "CNN declares " . ("Bush", "Gore")[rand 2];
    print " the winner of Florida\n";

    --
  • by Philipp (1858) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @01:40PM (#638429) Homepage
    Since it is down to a few thousand votes, it might come down to this: The layout of the ballot sheet confused voters in Palm Beach and many mistakenly voted for Buchanan. Voters there are now planning to sue.

    Here are the facts:

    Buchanan received 16,962 votes statewide in Tuesday's election, but 3,407 of that -- about one-fifth -- came from Palm Beach County alone. By comparison, Buchanan received 561 votes in Miami-Dade and 789 in Broward County.

    from the Miami Herald [herald.com]

    A good picture (not just a diagram) can be found here [gopbi.com].

  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @08:02AM (#638452) Journal
    Let's make that a link:

    http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/DailyNews/ ELECTION_WatchdogPart4001107.html [go.com]

    On the radio they make it sound like there are two rows of holes exposed, and the two for Gore and Buchannan are side-by-side. The picture is nothing like that.

    This actual picture looks abundantly clear to me. There are arrows pointing to the holes from the center of each section, and the Buchannan hole appears to be exactly on the line between the Bush and Gore sections.

    I don't see how a large number of people - even the nearly blind - could make the claimed error, or that errors could be so biased toward Gore->Buchannan and away from Bush->Buchannan to give Buchannan thousands of extra Gore votes.

    On the other hand, the text claims that there was a handout (that was NOT shown) giving the candidates in a different order. If it matched the layout but switched Buchannan and Gore that might be a different kettle of fish.
  • by Malc (1751) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:49AM (#638513)
    Yes, but see-sawing back and forth was good for viewing figures and advertising dollars, which is obviously more important.
  • by woogie (18354) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:50AM (#638533) Homepage
    WRONG!!! Bob Butterworth, the Attorney General is Gore's campaign chief in Florida. He has absolutely nothing to do with the vote counting. I have seen so much misinformation in this thread that my head is spinning.

    Woogie
  • by a42 (136563) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:50AM (#638543)
    It wouldn't surprise me if it were a common dirty trick of this and every incumbent administration to intercept these and other absentee ballots and hold them as an "ace in the hole" in case of a close election.

    That's the most ridiulous thing I've heard yet today. Everybody knows that what they actually do is to use the orbital mind control lasers to activate the Bermuda Triangle. The aliens then abduct all the absentee voters and force them to eat pop rocks and drink Coke until they explode. Their ballots are then filed in a special section of Warehouse 23. Or not.

    --john

  • by Junks Jerzey (54586) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:52AM (#638557)
    Note that if Bush does pull off a victory in Florida (which at this point, I suspect is likely), then we will conclusively be able to say that Ralph Nader cost Gore the election.

    Oh stop it already. If Nader hadn't been running, then likely one of the other 3rd party candidates would have gotten more press and sucked up about the same number of votes as Nader (or maybe a combination of 3rd party candidates). Many people who voted Reform Party in the past few elections went with the Green Party this time around, but only because that option existed. Leave the idiotic lessons in so-called "strategic voting" to news commentators who dropped out of college because Math 101 was too difficult.

    Overall, I'm annoyed at people who treat this like a high school election. This is President we're talking about. We're trying to elect someone who has been proven to be a great statesman or someone who has higher aspirations than simply to be a career politician. It's pretty sad that bozos like Gore and Bush (and especially Bush) managed to end up on the ballot. I'm sure Europe and the rest of the world are laughing heartily.
  • by seeken (10107) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:53AM (#638561) Journal
    I think it's much more likely that the problem stems from incompetance on the part pf the election judges at the polling places. My girlfriend is a law student in Maryand- she became an election judge to gain insight into the the process for a paper she is writing in her election law class. She was quite astounded at the disregard for the law exhibited by her fellow judges. They ended up with more votes than voters... I imagine similar forces are at play in Fla.



    Surfing the net and other cliches...
  • by Megane (129182) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @05:18AM (#638581) Homepage
    I know, I've been thinking the same thing. But now that it's an issue with enough people interested in it. I've been listening on TV and radio to arguments for it.

    It seems that the one thing it does is keep the states with lower populations from becoming completely insignificant, amplifying their votes a bit. This was one of the concerns back in the 1770's when there were only 13 states, that the little states would be reduced to insignificance, and is also why we have a bicameral (house+senate) system that is set up the way it is. After all, who would campaign in Rhode Island otherwise?

    Still, I'd kind of like to see the "winner takes all" thing done away with. In a state with a near 50/50 split, and there were quite a few of them, it seems kind of silly to count it the same as a 100/0 victory. Plus, this would give third party candidates a chance. Nader's 4% in California would have been enough to give him at least one electoral vote. Then we'd also have to start thinking about coalition voting, with third part Electoral College delegates voting for the best coalition, to avoid it going to Congress.

  • by wemmick (22057) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @05:20AM (#638593) Journal
    >p.s. Wow, I hope Slashdot gives the Canadian elections this much coverage in three weeks' time...

    y'mean they didn't vote yesterday like the rest of the country?

    (duck!)

    --
  • by mblase (200735) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:58AM (#638601)

    This year, Discover magazine published an article [discover.com] the month before the election about the problems of electing candidates based on simple majority, which begins to fail when more than two candidates have a strong following. With the fuss about Nader voters "taking away" votes from Gore, this is very relevant in this election.

    Four years ago, they did a similar article [208.245.156.153] on the electoral college, and how it actually gives more power to the average voter when a very large pool of voters exists.

    Both articles should be required reading for all scientifically-minded would-be voting reformers.

  • by ChadN (21033) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @08:59AM (#638615)
    There's about as much of a chance of an elector voting for a different candidate when it matters, as there is of Bush being elected and implementing Gore's complete agenda.

    So about 50/50 then.
  • by vlax (1809) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @09:04AM (#638622)
    Canada is a monarchy. Mexico is a federation. China is a "People's Republic." They're just names, and have little or nothing to do with democracy.

    There are huge differences between different schools of thought on what exactly constitutes a fair vote and a fair campaign. Most countries that run regular multi-party elections limit candiadtes access to funds and media, and as far as I know, all of them have some centre of power not elected by simple one-man-one-vote formulas.

    In Canada and the UK, leadership is decided based on a first-past-the-post system in each constituency, where the party with the most seats in parliament leads. This can - and in fact usually does - lead to representation out of proportion ot the actual vote count. In France, in addition to a British-style parliament, there is a Senate with limited powers elected by methods that heavily favour conservative rural districts over liberal urban ones. Canada has an appointed Senate, and the UK has the House of Lords. Germany has proportional representation in the Bundestag. The UK has regional governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that distort power relationships to favour those regions.

    Does any of this disqualify them as democracies? Not by any sensible current definition.

    As for me, I think that Condorcet voting is the fairest way to handle single office elections, and proportional representation is the only realistically fair way to handle electing legislative assemblies. I understand that political realities in most nations require some from of disproportionate regional representation, and I'm for them wherever truly necessary, but not otherwise.

    I don't think the US needs the electoral college anymore, not in an age of rightly diminished state power and loyalty. As for this election, it seems to me that considering the Nader vote, the majority of the American electorate has expressed a liberal tendency and that Gore's mandate is better than Bushes. Condorcet voting would almost certainly have elected Gore, although still not by any huge margin.
  • by Quintin Stone (87952) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @05:00AM (#638630) Homepage
    Not true at all. Bush has been ahead since 7:00 AM EST this morning, and is still listed ahead by about the same margin, about 1,800 votes.

    I'm not sure why you'd make up something like this.

  • by um... Lucas (13147) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @05:01AM (#638633) Homepage Journal
    Ditto that. I consciously chose not to vote, only to register at the last minute after seeing Jello Biafra speak about how a vote for Nader could only serve to strengthen another viable party. And more choices are good choices, right?

    So, Nader didn't take my vote from gore, he just took a vote that didn't exist in the first place.

  • by Foogle (35117) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @05:01AM (#638638) Homepage
    Some people's votes literally do not matter. Clearly that's not the case in states like Wisconsin and Florida, but in my mostly Democrat home state of Massachusetts Gore had almost twice as many votes as Bush did. I still went out and voted, because of the other questions on the ballot, but regardless of how I voted, Gore was going to get our Electoral.
  • by jafac (1449) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @09:05AM (#638641) Homepage
    In America, free speech is valued above almost everything.

    That and freedom of religion are THE two key pieces of nationalistic propaganda that are rammed down our throats here at a very early age.

    Most of us don't learn the truth (that we have neither) until High School civics class, and by then, we're in our rebellious teenage years, so it doesn't matter.

    With Gore taking this election, and a republican congress, you can be sure that the rest of the world will be laughing their asses off in the next 4 years as "free" America amends it's constitution to prohibit the burning of the American flag.

    Personally, I think flag-burning should be a sacred ritual at every family's 4th of July celebration (to celebrate that we have the right to do so - any Christian, and there are many in America I'm told, ought to understand instinctively that for an ideal to live for ever, the symbol that represents it must be destroyed).

    But I digress, we're talking about the media here, and that's what freedom of speech is really about - and the media will manipulate the elections with biased coverage and reporting to make sure the most profitable (for them) man wins. Which candidate is most profitable? The most controverisal! The one that's easiest to spoof, tease, and lampoon. The one that's going to make those ratings jump as he does one lameass thing after another.

    I'm guessing this is why Slashdot has "elected" Jon Katz to write editorials here. Same reason ZDNet uses Dvorak and Bearst.
  • by Megane (129182) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @05:27AM (#638652) Homepage
    I was stunned when after they had given Florida to Gore they took it back.

    I wasn't stunned about that. I was stunned that they gave it to Gore in the first place. When about 10% of the precincts were in, and Bush was leading 50/48, I wondered where the hell they pulled a solid Gore win for the state from, and guessed it was based entirely on exit polls of 1770 some odd people, which in a close race is about as reliable as pulling it out of your ass.

    Finally CNN pulled Florida, then Fox News, then the two networks I was also switching to.

    Now the really tricky part about this was that the polls were apparently still open in the Florida panhandle (which I guess is in a different time zone) when the networks gave the state to Gore.

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @05:27AM (#638653) Homepage Journal
    As someone who works in nearby Martin County, I can point you at some info on what happened in Palm Beach County where the allegations are being made. First, here's stuff from the Port St Lucie Tribune, the local paper where I live:

    There's nothing about Palm Beach county to suggest that the extraordinary high Buchanan turnout matches local opinion compared to the rest of the State, IMO.

    A collegue/friend of mine lives around there and voted and said she nearly made the same mistake. Her mother did make the same mistake, but noticed before posting her ballot and asked for another paper. It seems reasonable to conclude that it is likely that others made the same mistake and didn't notice until after their ballot was out of their hands.
    --

  • You're completely backwards.

    This election shows clearly the fact that the two major parties have become damn near identical, and thus the electoral college makes it possible for a situation to arise where a third party wins with only 31% of the vote, if the major two only get 30% apiece.

    Without the electoral college, all you get in that situation is no winner, which means the House of Representatives decides, which is like the Electoral College but without the accountability.

    Last time they had to decide, they went against the popular vote *AND* the electoral vote.

    -
  • by Kailden (129168) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @05:33AM (#638706) Journal
    Florida's Electoral could vote for whomever they damn well please

    As I understand, and i'm not an expert, but I heard this on the radio this morning, this can only occur in states that have "faithless electors". I'm not sure if florida is one of them...if it is there is a chance on december 18 that they cast thier vote in favor of who won the popular election.

    Also, I heard that the republicans are having the vote recounted in Wisconsin.

    In any case, we really need to upgrade our election equipment as I'm still voting with a paper ballot...and the whole thing seems pretty insecure in many respects. Did anyone else hear that 9 ballot boxes in florida were left behind in the building by the election judge whose sole job is to ensure the votes are taken to be counted?

    Sounds fishy, but I'm sure things are getting blown out of proportion to some degree.
  • by malraux (5479) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @06:10AM (#638717)
    Gah. Posting this twice because I'm seeing a lot of disinformation. The Electoral College protects us from mob rule. The individual voter has MORE power with an electoral college system. Going to strict "one person one vote" will enable the candidates to complete ignore minorities in favor of large voting blocs. Read this: Math Against Tyranny [208.245.156.153] The only reform that should be made is using Maine and Nebraska's system of splitting the electoral votes by district.


    Regards,
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @06:10AM (#638719)
    Yeah, Bush had his girlfriend have an abortion. It was covered up. The hypocrite theme resurfaces -- since he is against abortions (in words, not actions; for us, not him). The story of the abortion and its cover up was also covered up by our own national media.

    How CNN censored the Crossfire episode:
    http://www.kgoam810.com/viewentry.asp?ID=73474&PT= programsummaries [kgoam810.com]

    San Francisco Examiner article about the cover up:
    http://www.examiner.com/001030/1030sorensen.html [examiner.com]

    Here's Larry Flint on the topic:

    Well, we've been doing an investigation for a little over eight months to the effect that an abortion took place in 1970 in Houston, Texas. He was working for his father's campaign when he was running for the senate against Lloyd Bentsen, and a fellow by the name of Robert Chandler was the campaign manager. He got a girl pregnant during this period of time, and she had an abortion. We've been able to locate the doctor who preformed the procedure at a hospital in Houston. Not only that but we have the affidavits from four of her friends stating that they knew about the affair, the pregnancy and the subsequent abortion. The only thing we could not have which we needed to break the story was the girl to come out, and she would not come out. Whether she was afraid or whether she was paid off, I don't really want to speculate, because I don't know what the actual reason was. But when I started taking this to the mainstream media, I said you don't have to break the story, just ask the question, you know. You asked the cocaine question, so just ask if he's ever facilitated an abortion or paid for an abortion or if he was the father of a child. Just give him the chance to admit or deny it. No one would touch it.
  • by powerlord (28156) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @05:38AM (#638763) Journal
    Sure... your vote didn't count unless you live in Florida....

    or in Iowa with 6,000 votes keeping Bush from beating Gore

    or in New Hampshire with 7,000 votes keeping Gore from beating Bush (Nader took 22,000 BTW)

    or in Wisconsin with 6,000 votes keeping Bush from beating Gore

    (this being just a listing of those states with less then 10,000 votes separating the two candidates acording to http://www.cnn.com /EL ECTION/2000/results/index.president.html [cnn.com])

    In most of those places (and lots others) 3rd party candidates such as Nader played a key roll in depriving one party or the other of beating their opponent.

    Interesting election, personally I hate sweeps week stunts where they have cliff-hangers, and 'tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion' but I'll make an exception this time ;)

  • by goliard (46585) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @07:06AM (#638818)


    My precinct (in Cambridge, MA) had close to 100% voter turn out. I went in at 7:45pm (polls closed at 8:00pm) and almost every name was checked off.

    Knowing that my neighborhood is strongly leftish ("People's Republic of Cambridge"), I have a different idea of of what was happening.

    (I don't know how to make this tastefully non-partisan, so I won't. Sorry.) From what I've seen here, heard talking to real live Republicans, what I understand to be the case is this:

    The Republicans were largely voting for whom they thought would make a better president. They were trying to vote out of optimism. But as conservative presidents go, it's really hard to get enthused about Dubya. He's the only Republican choice, but he's kinda disappointing as Republicans go.

    The Democrats, on the other hand (of which I and most of my neighbors are some), were voting for whom they thought would make the less bad president. They were voting not out of a sense of optimism, but of pure, unbridled terror. They weren't asking of their candidate that he demonstrate great talent, character, or policy; they were just looking for someone who seemed to have at least vague concept of civil liberties, and at least a decent sense of shame about abusing them.

    For all the conservatives have been whining about "liberal media bias", I think that the media have been astonishingly quiet about what liberals were really thinking and feeling. Bush terrifies them. The media played along with the Republicans in pretending that everything was playing out on the rarified intellectualized plain of abstracted issues. While it was "issues" oriented, it wasn't the abstraction of issues which was the crux.

    While Republicans were talking about abstract ideas like "character" and "policy", Democrats were looking down the barrel of a gun. Make no mistake about it, when a presidential candidate presumes to pass judgement on what is or is not a religion and protected by the first amendment (see the case of the Wiccan soldiers), if you don't belong (or think you belong) to a privileged religion, you are looking down the barrel of a gun; you are standing on a slippery slope, the bottom of which rests in concentration camps.

    Make no mistake: when a presidential candidate side steps the question "do you think that atheists aren't citizens?", if you are an atheist, or even sufficiently leftist, you are looking down the barrel of a gun. When a presidential candidate opposes abortion, if you are a woman, you are looking down the barrel of a gun.

    I live in a state with a Republican govenor, which just defeated in referendum health care reform and just approved a massive income tax cut. I expect lots of people here would have be happy to have voted for someone of Bush's fiscal orientation -- if only he wasn't pointing a gun at them.

    (Note to Libertarians: You guys could have all New England in your pockets, but you're basically coming across as extremist Republicans. Maybe you are. I didn't think that's what libertarianism was about. Until you learn to put civil liberties first and fiscal policy second, you will never get anywhere in N.E.)

    Republicans worry that Gore will hurt their livelihoods. Democrats are terrified that Bush with destroy their lives. And that is the reason Democratic voters turned out, and the story no media will report.

  • by kfg (145172) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @07:06AM (#638825)
    There was something VERY wrong with the opposing candidates that a radical outsider like Nader could 'steal' votes from them.

    If they don't like it they should look their own house.

    America does NOT have a two party system, NEVER had a two party system, and was intended to have NO party system.

    Read the Constitution and Washington's farewell speach to congress if you don't believe me.

    If you meet the constitutional requirments for holding an office it is your RIGHT to run, and it is my RIGHT to vote for you.

    I voted, but I didn't vote for Nader, OR Gore, OR Bush.

    I used my right to vote to vote for a candidate *I* wanted to win because I am an American citizen and it is my RIGHT, damn it! I didn't "throw my vote away" because I didn't want any of the people I didn't vote for to have my vote. I didn't want them to win. I wanted Harry Browne to win.

    Tell me this, what if, just ONCE, there were NO candidates, and everyone just *wrote in* who they REALLY wanted to be president?

    Now THAT would shake up the status quo!

    KFG
  • by grappler (14976) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @06:20AM (#638827) Homepage
    hardly has a mandate??!!!!

    What it looks like is that he'll LOSE the popular vote but win the election!

    Talk about not having a mandate! People wanted the OTHER GUY :-)

    This is awesome - I don't know how a bigger spotlight than this could be thrown on the electoral college.


    -------
  • by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nokrog]> on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @07:09AM (#638839)
    We do elect the president....in a indirect sort of way. We vote which electors we want to elect our candidate. Popular vote means something in a state by state level, but not national. Yeah. it may be out dated, but there's nothing that can be done about it now. After the vote is decided, they can, if they want to, try to amend the constitution to rid us of the electoral college, but I REALLY don't see that happening! Amending the constitution is something that they SHOULD do. For example, it would be real hard for some of the suggested gun legislation to go thru becase some of their plans are unconstitutional! In my book, all gun laws could possibly be considered unconsitutional including the current ones! ANYWAY, when are the going to get rid of batch processing in this mess and do it in real time with computers? (Not necessarily the internet, but with private networks and computers at the polling places....)
  • by citizenc (60589) <cary.glidedesign@ca> on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @06:26AM (#638876) Journal
    .. why don't they create a dual-presidency? (SP) Whom-ever ends up winning, they won't have won by much, thus throughally pissing off half of the country. So, my suggestion, being the ignorant Canadian that I am, is to allow BOTH candidates to hold office -- let them share responsibility, discuss issues, and help each other out.


    ------------
    CitizenC
  • by goliard (46585) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @01:49PM (#638879)


    You miss the point. From the point of view of plenty of the folks to the South, Bush wasn't sufficiently "comforting", as you put it, to get them excited. He was adequately "comforting", but nothing to write home about.

    And you're not getting it in a fundamental way -- the same way most conservatives haven't gotten it all along, and which why this strong showing for Gore surprized them -- and this is the important part of my point: When I say the democrats were "frightened", I'm not using it in the intellectual, abstracted way you use it:

    People here are frightened of Wiccans

    That's just factually incorrect. The people where you are dislike Wiccans. May indeed loathe them. But they are confident in the dominence of their own religion, and see no reason to believe that Wiccans could manage to pass punitive laws which directly effect them since they know they greatly out number them. They don't largely fear Wiccans, not the way Bush frightens a lot of liberals.

    I quite literally mean "frighten", not "cause disgust and contempt".

    That's something the right absolutely doesn't want to hear: that some of their positions and candidates inspire a kind of fear which drives its own opposition without any counter-organization what so ever.

    I'm not suggesting you change you opinions as to what you think is moral and good. I'm just relating an observation of political reality. If conservatives keep waving political guns at large portions of the population, liberals won't actually have to organize to get out the vote. It's really that simple.

    The political spectrum has widened much in the past 50 years -- but not in the past 250. By the McCarthy era, the political spectrum had shrunk to a tiny slice of what it had been.

    And, frankly, I'll believe the right supports the Bill of Rights the day I hear a Republican candidate for president publically affirm the citizenship of atheists and suggest that the Pledge of Allegiance be amended to its original form.

  • by Rupert (28001) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @06:27AM (#638896) Homepage Journal
    This'll probably drop off the face of /., given there are already some 700 posts, but here's my opinion anyway.

    Gore should keep campaigning.

    If Gore takes Oregon, and Bush takes Florida, they will have 267 and 271 votes respectively. I am willing to bet that given a month of strong campaigning (and an appropriate amount of subtle bribery), Gore can persuade 3 of those Republican electors to switch on the basis of his win in the popular vote.

    This isn't over until after it's over.

    --
  • by Jeffrey Baker (6191) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @06:30AM (#638907)
    Let me remind you why the military will *not* be voting for gore :)

    Gore ponders the automatic rifle [algore2000.com]

  • by 1010011010 (53039) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:33AM (#639034) Homepage
    The Libertarians can in fourth in essentially every state. Yet CNN consistently left them out of the reports. They reported on Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Reform and Natural Law. The Libertarians consistently finished ahead of both Reform and Natural Law, but got no mention from CNN. What the hell is that about? Does Ted Turner have it out for the Libertarians?

    ________________________________________
  • by Mike Hicks (244) <hick0088@tc.umn.edu> on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:36AM (#639059) Homepage Journal
    Something I thought I'd mention about the state of Wisconsin (and this is probably true in other states as well). Many pundits have plastered the effect of Nader all over the place, but in some cases, Nader is not the only effect.

    In Wisconsin, the votes are now in favor of Al Gore by 6000, after over 2.5 million have been counted. This brings into effect not only Nader (93000), but Buchanan (11000) as well as Browne (6500).
    --
  • by divec (48748) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:36AM (#639069) Homepage
    Nader appears to have cost Gore Oregano, Ohio, and Florida. Sure hope he sleeps well

    People who are blaming Nader for this don't seem to be able to see that it's a problem with the voting system. If they keep blaming Nader they're not helping to fix the system. Sure hope they sleep well.
  • by Stephen (20676) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:38AM (#639099) Homepage
    After they had given Florida to Gore they took it back. And then they did the same thing with Bush. You can't do that. The Western voters are influenced by what they see on the Eastern results.
    In Europe, it's regarded as a basic democratic principle that no exit polls or results are published until all the polls are closed. (And in the case of European parliamentary elections, this is several days after the first countries have voted!) From this side of the Atlantic, it looks as if freedom of speech is valued more highly than fair elections in the US.
  • by wunderhorn1 (114559) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:39AM (#639105) Homepage

    From CNN [cnn.com]:
    • 64% of voters were "regular users of the internet"
      • 48% of "regular users of the internet" voted Bush
      • 47% voted Gore
      • 3% voted Nader
    • 30% of voters "get political news via the internet"
      • Breakdown same as above
      • Bush wins the internet vote???
    • 66% of voters would not want their children to be president
    • 57% of voters would be "concerned" or "scared" if Bush won.
    • 60% of voters thought "Gore attacked Bush unfairly"
    • 60% of voters have an "unfavorable" "opinion of Clinton as a person"
    • Gore gets the "cynicism vote" -- 57% of those who voted for Gore think "Both" candidates "would say anything."

    For all the "Bush sucks" and "Vote Nader" talk that went on here, these statistics seem rather surprising..

    -the wunderhorn

    -the wunderhorn
    #define OH_YES_INDEED 1
  • by Eric Green (627) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @05:02AM (#639127) Homepage
    The actual balloting apparatus in Florida is under the direct control of the county commissioner of elections. The Sec of State certifies the results, but the Sec of State's office has no direct control over the voting apparatus (they are kept in county warehouses between elections, *NOT* in state warehouses).

    This is why different counties use different ballots -- the actual counting apparatus is different. Thus Brevard used the one that looks like a Scan-Tron card, while the folks in Palm Beach got the ones that had holes in them.

    Still, the Democratic machine is strong in Florida. Thus if the final vote is certified for Gore, I'll be just as suspicious as if it is certified for Bush. Either way, I don't think we'll ever know who really won. It's almost as bad as the election of 1876 (go read your history books, and tell me about the Hayes Compromise that got Rutherford B. Hayes elected president that year despite his not winning the popular vote... interestingly enough, Florida was a party to that one too!).

    For more info:

    -E
  • by MillMan (85400) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @05:04AM (#639158)
    A few notes on Nader and how he factored in. It does look like he could have been the difference because of Florida.

    It's not his fault. It's Gore's and the Democratic party.

    Clinton brought the democratic party to the center in 92, esentially abandoning those on the farther left, that Nader now roughly represents. Times were (and still are) good (or getting there in 92). The typical left wing agenda and programs were seemingly unpopular to the white middle class, and this is who the dems were trying to appeal to. If Gore wanted those votes, he had to prove he was worthy of them. He did not. They are not his be default, and the dem idea that he deserved them is arrogant beyond description.

    Keep in mind Buchanan on the FAR right could have done the same thing to Bush. I'm fairly sure Buchanan had even more money than Nader because of Federal funds for Perot's old party. But Bush appealed to voters who might have otherwise went for a bigot like Buchanan. He succeded on this point where Gore failed.

    The democrats have been losing their core constituency in recent years. In the limited number of states I saw info on, Gore was only winning about 60% of union households!! If he can't get numbers much, much higher than that, he is going to have a very tough time. So don't blame it all on Nader.

    The left wing mags I read are terrified of a Bush presidency. They have also shamefully recommended voting for Gore over Nader (and here I'm talking about mags getting out to the "far left"), mainly because of the possibility of abortion rights being overturned.

    But if Bush wins, he hardly has a mandate. In fact, neither candidate can get over 50%. These are not the numbers needed for a "conservative revolution" similar to what Ginerich tried several years ago. We don't need to fear much, the status quo will prevail. Although, the status quo frightens me a bit. If he succeeds in overturning roe vs wade with possible supreme court appointments (if he even wants to try), watch the 60's social movements come back with a vengance. The people won't let him get away with it.
  • by nigiri (22248) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:42AM (#639167) Journal
    It seems to me that the real story of this election is the turnout. I had to wait in line for nearly two hours to vote, and there are similar stories from around the country. In my state (Georgia), voter turnout is expected to approach the all time record.

    For years now, we've been told that American voters are apathetic. Turnouts have been approaching record lows, and the pundits have chalked this up to our being disenchanted with the process.

    How then to explain what happened yesterday? If we're so disenchanted, why did we turn out in droves?

    One might be tempted to credit the alternative candidated, Nader, Browne, Buchanan et. al. But in reality, these candidates weren't really a factor in the popular vote. Even Nader, despite a strong showing in some locations will probably not crack the 5 percent he was looking for. (Note: I'm not saying Nader wasn't a factor in the election - he probably had a pretty real effect on the electorial college numbers.)

    The answer seems evident to me. What turns people off is not the process, or even lackluster candidates (and I don't think anyone but the most partisan would argue that Gush and Bore are two of the most lackluster candidates in recent memory), but a race that seems like a foregone conclusion.

    After all, who can get enthused about voting if they've been told for weeks who's going to win? What drove the turnout in this election was the uncertainty.

    In light of this, I think it would be a good thing, from a civic point of view, if the media stopped reporting poll numbers. I don't think this is ever going to happen, and I would be horrified at the thought of outlawing it or something, but it's obvious that lopsided poll results dampen voter turnout.

    Anyway, my $0.02.

  • by lemox (126382) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:43AM (#639185)

    Actually, for all you know, Florida's Electoral could vote for whomever they damn well please. There is no law requiring them to go with the popular vote, it's just a matter of courtesy when they usually do.

    Electorals can vote against public opinion in the case we plebes vote in someone that the current government thinks is a threat to the status-quo. How's that for democracy?

  • The military absentee vote usually splits close to even.

    Granted, many of the folks in the military that talk about politics try to label themselves conservative and support, in spirit, Republican candidates, but the ones that actually vote outside of where they are stationed split about even.

    Q. If someone advocated socializing the defense industry, would you consider them a conservative at all?

    A. An Academy grad that I was in the Army Aviation Officer Advanced Course with advocated the above, along with many other extreme left economic views, but he was a hardcore Republican.

    Not a stat, just an anecdote.

    Visit DC2600 [dc2600.com]
  • by sid_vicious (157798) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:22AM (#639232) Homepage Journal
    Interesting that it looks like Gore's won the popular vote..

    This may be the end of the electoral college once people realize that the Executive branch of government is not truly representative of the people's will..

  • by Eric Green (627) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:23AM (#639255) Homepage
    Now the question becomes: What happened to those 5 ballot boxes that were mysteriously lost and found in Dade County? And when those ballot boxes are recounted, will we find that they're mostly Gore votes, or mostly Bush votes? Were Daddy and Brother Bush's operatives able to out-war the Dade County Machine's operatives when it comes to rigging an election? Did Jeb's master stroke, putting two holes by Gore/Lieberman (if you punched the wrong hole, you voted for Buchanon), turn the tide?

    I think it's sad that we'll probably never know who the people of Florida *REALLY* wanted for President :-(.

    -E

  • by Nidhogg (161640) <shr.thanatos@gmE ... minus physicist> on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:24AM (#639264) Journal
    I think the biggest story to come is what happened with the TV media and their handling of Florida. With it's 25 electoral votes it's a major prize.

    Personally I watched the results come in on CNN. I was stunned when after they had given Florida to Gore they took it back. And then they did the same thing with Bush.

    You can't do that. The Western voters are influenced by what they see on the Eastern results. I don't care what you say they have to be. Gore having Florida (momentarily) was hugely influential especially considering that they were already projecting that he was going to get California's 54.

    We're going to see some serious criticism and finger pointing over the use of exit polls and voting results models.

    And I'm gonna enjoy every damned minute of it. =)

  • by bmongar (230600) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:25AM (#639291)

    This election makes it look like your vote counts less, winning the popular vote but loosing the electoral vote.

    But seriously whoever wins will not have a mandate of the people, no one got the majority. I think this along with the closley split house and senate will lead to a weakened president. Which may not be a bad thing

  • by logicTrAp (2864) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:25AM (#639314) Homepage
    We can always hope. The electoral college is especially silly given that most states now legislate that electors vote based on how the state's populace votes. As such, it's mostly a tool to simply hide anyone but the two major parties.
  • by maynard (3337) <`j.maynard.gelinas' `at' `gmail.com'> on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:26AM (#639338) Journal
    OK, I'm not a Gore supporter. Frankly, I voted Nader, but don't think that my vote for Nader translates to a vote for Gore by default. It doesn't.

    That said, this looks really fishy. Gore easily won the exit polls in Florida, which is why the Major networks declared a Gore victory in Florida early on. Bush then gave a short press conference refusing to concede Florida and then the networks placed the state back in the unknown column.

    I've never seen anything like it. Given Jebb Bush, George's brother, as governor in Florida and the disparity between exit polls and the ballot count I really do suspect electoral fraud. It's happened before... many suspect that Kennedy stole the election from Nixon in 1960 because of some strange returns in Chicago... so I'm not saying this to denounce Republicans (as Democrats have been accused of this as well in the past).

    The really big irony here is that Gore has won the popular vote, so if Bush does win Florida we'll have an electoral/popular vote split just as the pundits predicated might happen. Though I know of no pundits that predicted a Gore popular win, Bush electoral win. Very weird.
  • by EricWright (16803) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:26AM (#639341) Journal
    Goes to show that a vote for Nader was a vote for Bush all along, Nader appears to have cost Gore Oregano, Ohio, and Florida. Sure hope he sleeps well.

    Whew! At least he didn't cost Gore Thyme and Basil. That would really have screwed him over!!!

    Eric

  • by osgeek (239988) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:26AM (#639343) Homepage Journal
    Late last night I watched the proceedings with much excitement. Finally, Gore called Bush to concede the election. A little while later, the Florida issue came to light and Gore called Bush back to recant the concession.

    All I have to say is this:

    Can't Gore ever keep his word?

    Maybe just this once?
  • by Sodium Attack (194559) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @08:40AM (#639359)
    Ruined the economy? The person with the most control over the economy is not the president, but the chairman of the federal reserve board. Since both Bush and Gore would reappoing Greenspan to that post, this election makes little difference to the economy.
  • by WhiskeyJack (126722) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:27AM (#639371)

    ...to find out who the next President will be.

    Welcome to Indecision 2000!

    -- WhiskeyJack

  • by Rupert (28001) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @10:04AM (#639383) Homepage Journal
    You say:

    That's 5 million for Bush and 4 million for Gore, so Bush wins. But only the people in State A actually wanted him; the other three states voted unanimously against them. But because A's population is so large, it unfairly controls the election. B, C, and D have no real voice. This is hardly "the will of the people" that the Constitution mandates be put into office.

    is not fair, so you add an electoral college to get:

    Bush won the popular vote in A, so he grabs those seven. Because he only won one state, that's all he gets. But Gore, having won three states, gets 3+3+4=10 votes, and takes the election.

    Now the "will of the 4 million people" has triumphed over the "will of the 5 million people" and that is supposed to be better?

    I did the math again this morning. If you take the 39 smallest states you can win in the electoral college with 20% of the popular vote. If you take the 12 largest states you can win in the electoral college with 30% of the popular vote. The electoral college disenfranchises 50% of the population.


    --
  • by Sloppy (14984) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @05:50AM (#639398) Homepage Journal

    If Gore won the pop vote, then I really hope Bush wins the election. Nothing could please me more (except having an intelligent candidate (e.g. Browne) win, but that's just wishful thinking). I hope there's a lot of whining over this, maybe even some reform like instant-runoffs (whoops, there I go with the wishful thinking again).

    I love how it seems to all come down to Florida, the patron state of alt.tasteless.


    ---
  • by ostiguy (63618) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:29AM (#639408)
    Jeb's master stroke for two holes by Gore's name? All balloting apparatus in Florida is under control of.... drum roll please....

    the Sec of State who is a democrat...... DOUBLE drum roll please....

    who just so happened to be Gore's State Campaign Chief.

    No vast right wing conspiracy here.

    matt
  • by b1t r0t (216468) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @10:13AM (#639420)
    I gave a "deep link" because the page was loading slow, but I think someone was just hogging the pipe here at work. Here's the real page:

    http://rushlimbaugh.com/home/today/PALMBALLOT.html [rushlimbaugh.com]

  • by divec (48748) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:31AM (#639436) Homepage
    #!/bin/sh

    echo -n 'Bush winning by '

    lynx -dump http://www.cnn.com/ | grep -2 PRESIDENT | perl -e '

    while(<>){$n[$i++] = $1.$2.$3 if /\s(\d),(\d{3}),(\d{3})/}print $n[0]-$n[1];'

    echo ' votes in Florida.'
  • by Masem (1171) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:31AM (#639438)
    But the difference between Gore and Bush is 1,700. BIG Difference.

  • by Pfhreakaz0id (82141) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @04:32AM (#639442)

    on ABCnews.com [go.com]

    This seems fairly serious. I think the Florida thing will end up in court on several things. Just too damn close to call. Regardless, whoever ultimately "wins" the presidency, they will have no mandate, face a highly split House and Senate (both still have Republican majorities, but closer than before), and, if it's Bush, can't even claim he got the most popular votes!
    ---
  • by d.valued (150022) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @06:30AM (#639450) Journal
    I have been, and will continue to be, a vocal advocate of Ralph. So, if you want to give me a "Flamebait" point, at least read this first.

    Ralph Nader, if anything, got more people interested in this election. The kinds of people who would vote for Ralph are people who found The Battle Of The Juniors (Bore Jr. and Gush Jr.) too comfy for those who gave them insane amounts of cash. (Enough to run NT well. That's scary.)

    The people who voted for Ralph wanted their vote to count towards something. This time around, and with all probability next time as well, it was to get 5% of the popular vote and get federal funds in 2k4.

    Too many of the people I talked to while I politicked (excuse the misspelling if any: I mean "the act of shamelessly promoting my candidate by passing out literature near a polling place") said the same lies that I had heard over and over again from people I knew, and who I converted to Nader from Gore.

    x "Roe v. Wade": Bush Jr. and the Republicans ain't stupid. They may not like it, but women, a significant part of the voting population, do. They have said time and again that overthrowing Roe v. Wade would be tantamount to political suicide.

    x "It's the Supreme Court, stupid.": A case of history for you. The postwar period had Republicans nominate a few judges for The Big Promotion to the Supreme Court. You might know them: Warren, Brennan, Stevens, Blackmun, and Souter. These guys were pretty damned liberal: they went for civil rights and against the conservative ebb of the Repos. Recently, the Democratic Senate in the early 90's allowed two drek judges, Scalia (who was put in 98-0 with Gore Jr. voting Aye) and Thomas (52-48, again a Gore Jr. Aye). Now, we have a nearly-even division of both houses, and that means (AFA the Senate) that the Dems can filibuster whatever, whenever. (You'll see a few newspapers under the arms of Dems to give time-killer filler.) So, assuming Bush Jr. wins, he's got to pick moderates with no paper (case history) on abortion.

    x "A Vote For Nader is a Vote For Bush": The people who voted for Ralph ain't hardcore loyal Dems. They are technically classified as independant, but they lean towards the border between liberal and radical, in the fuzzy zone of progressive. They want change because there are ungodly numbers of poor and starving people in this country. They want change because the rich are building their fortunes, their mansions, their portfolios on the backs of people unable to get a simple checking account. They want change because no one else will talk about the dirty side of life in America where 1/4 of the families of Texas and California live in poverty, with another 1/4 damned near it.
    Also, had Nader not ran, Gore wouldn't have switched tactics. He sounded like "Nader-lite" with his ripping on the rich. (They knew it was tactics: after all, they gave him his $125+M war chest.) He won people by sounding like a man for change, though we all know that at least the 107th Congress shalt do naught (good)

    But the reason people turned out so much in this election was not so much to vote for a candidate. (Most of those people are either lifelong party members or Naderites.) They came out to vote AGAINST a candidate. They fell into the trap of two evils.

    When you go for the lesser of two evils, you end up with.. two evils.

    Here ends the lesson.

    PS: I'm going to change the sig to "You voted Republocrat? Now we ALL suffer!"
  • by TWR (16835) on Wednesday November 08, 2000 @08:52AM (#639455)
    Ummmm 1976. Well, yeah, there's a problem. Carter, Ford. I think you're thinking 1980.

    Ummmm, no. In 1976, Reagan challenged Ford for the Republican nomination. When Reagan gave an off-the-cuff speech at the nominating convention (when Ford was nominated) there was basically an "Oh, Shit" moment for Republicans, when they realized that Reagan would have made a far better nominee. Ford, of course, went on to lose in 76, and Reagan won in 80 and 84.

    -jon

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