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Presidential Election: Fact O Essay, Research Paper

The Presidential Election of 2000: Fact or Farce

When the subject of the Presidential Election is brought up, most people think of all the chaos that was caused between Florida and the rest of us. What I would like to state to you today is about how our electoral system is out of date and how it goes against everything that we should do to elect the proper president.

The election of 2000, will for many reasons, go

Down in history as a complete farce. No one can deny that the race between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush was a hard fought one. But, due to improper voting practices and an over anxious media, society will have a dim view of this election and the man currently holding the

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most powerful position in the world. This man was not elected by a popular vote. In fact, the majority of the nation cast their vote for the ousted Al Gore. The outdated Electoral College is to blame. Since the election, the U.S. population has certainly spoken. Consumer confidence is currently at a 10 year low. As well as various minority groups being petrified at what the next 4 years may bring.

Following a long night of state election totals being very close, the national news coverage stated that Al Gore had taken Florida and it s electoral votes. This being the key to victory, Al Gore was projected as the next President of the United States. I have to say everyone at my house was jubilant. Very happily, we all went to bed, later to find out that in fact, Florida s popular vote was for George Bush. Well, not so fast. They

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really did not know who won Florida. After weeks and weeks of political maneuvering in the State and Federal court, George W. Bush was declared winner of Florida s electoral votes, therefore giving him the most sought after office. But, at what cost? Many of Florida s voters stated that this was not possible. Everything from confusing ballets, to poor mechanics declaring many ballots ineligible, left the American people confused and feeling taken advantage of. Internationally, the election was a joke. Why was note the most powerful and technically diverse country in the world able to fairly elect a President? This is a question that I am sure will be asked and answered over time to come. The Electoral College is the collective name for the electors who nominally choose the president and the vice president of the United States. The group is made up of electors chosen to represent

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their state. Each state is entitled to a number of electors equal to the total number of senators and representatives it sends to the U.S. Constitution, who hoped this process would allow the peoples choice to be unaffected by partisan politics. At the present time the total of state and District of Columbia electors is 538; a simple majority of 270 is necessary for election.

The election of 2000 will not go down in history as the only one with a questionable outcome. The Electoral College vs. The Popular Vote has been at odds before. The presidential election of 1876 in which the Republican, Rutherford B. Hayes, and the Democrat, Samuel J. Tilden, were the candidates. This dispute involved the validity of the electoral votes of four states, and the outcome was crucial, since Tilden needed just one of the 22 votes to have a majority and

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Hayes needed all 22 to win. Under then existing law, it was the duty of Congress to resolve the dispute, but Congress found itself deadlocked. Finally, the issue was settled through the creation of the Electoral Commission of 1877, which chose Hayes.

There are many critics of the electoral method. There is question, is the true sentiments of the voters are distorted by the process. It is proven that population and voter turnout is not accurately reflected. A candidate receiving the greatest number of votes cast in a state whether the margin is 1 vote or 1 million carries all the electoral votes of the state. For instance, lets say Kentucky carried 14 electoral votes and Tennessee carried 15 electoral votes. Candidate A won Kentucky by a vote of 500 to Candidate B s 299 votes. But in Tennessee, Candidate B won by a

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vote of 500 to A s vote of 499. This would give Candidate B the presidency; even though Candidate A had a majority of the votes.

The question is, should a candidate receive a minority of the popular vote nationally but carry a sufficient number of states to ensure a majority of the electoral votes, the candidate would be elected, and the will of the majority would be ignored? My answer is no. I believe the Electoral College has outlived its usefulness of 1877.

Who can say if the current economic situation is due to the 2000 presidential election? Currently, consumer confidence is at a 10 year low. Not since 1990 have there been so few major purchases made. This could be devastating to retailers. Many say we are headed for a recession. Oil prices remain on the rise, affecting the cost of everything from heating our homes to fueling our

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cars. This also hits our pockets in retail. Transporting has gotten more expensive so stores have to raise their prices.

The election of George W. Bush has also ruffled the feathers of many minority groups. Ninety Eight percent of the African American vote was cast for Al Gore. Many feel that President Bush will not be sympathetic to the African American issues; also, many women s groups did not support the election of George W. Bush. Those who are pro women s choice know he will have the honor of placing up to 4 new Supreme Court Justices. We also all know that issues heard at that level should not be decided because of a particular political party. But, the fact is they are.

In conclusion I trust you will be able to form a well thought out opinion of how, in the future to

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conduct a well-organized and decisive presidential election.

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