San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Florida, We Have a Problem

By Zack SmithAssistant City Editor

In what has become one of the closest presidential races inhistory, only a few hundred thousand votes separate Republican GeorgeW. Bush and Democrat Al Gore in the country-wide popular vote andonly a couple thousand in Florida’s popular vote.

America is still left hanging on the outcome of Florida’s vote,which would give one candidate enough electoral college votes to win.

Both Democrats and Republicans at Golden Hall, San Diego’sdowntown election headquarters, Tuesday night were taken on anail-biting, rollercoaster ride of excitement over which candidatewould be the next president.

Spectators were astonished when the 25 electoral votes in Floridawere taken away from Gore and given to Bush. News organizations hadfirst declared the state for Gore, then said it was too close tocall, and then gave it to Bush at about 2:20 a.m. Eastern StandardTime yesterday.

Becausethe vote count was so close, Florida’s election officials, by law,have required a mandatory recount.

However, according to MSNBC’s Web site, some residents in PalmBeach, Fla., are concerned they accidentally voted for presidentialReform Party candidate Pat Buchanan instead of Gore.

Gore carried the county by more than 110,000 votes, but the 3,407votes casted for Buchanan were the most out of other Floridacounties.

Palm Beach County lawyers have announced a lawsuit seeking a newelection in the county.

Since the 1960s Kennedy/Nixon race, this is the first timeAmericans didn’t have a president elect named on Voter night.

It may even be the closest election since 1880, when RepublicanJames Garfield beat Democrat Winfield Hancock by a margin of 1,898out of 9.2 million votes cast.

San Diego State University students said the experience of beingat Golden Hall was good for them.

Religious studies junior Nick McCann said this was the second timehe attended an election ceremony, the last one he attended was in’96.

“It seems like there are more people here this time,” he said.

McCann said he hopes the recount favors Gore.

He attributed higher attendance at Golden Hall to Green Partycandidate Ralph Nader and more youth participation in Election 2000.

Social work graduate students Kelly Neal and Rebecca Smith saidthey attended because the presidential race is so close. They bothsaid they support Gore and enjoyed watching the votes come in.

Democratic Assemblywoman Christine Kehoe, who won re-election toher seat in the 79th District, said also the third party presence andhigh youth turnout at Golden Hall showed the tight presidential race.

“The closeness of the Republican and Democratic candidates andNader really brought out the people,” Kehoe said. “They all wanted toget behind their man.

“The closeness of the race made it clear vspace=10 hspace=10 everysingle vote counts.”

Green Party supporter and geography graduate student Chris Peaksaid it was motivating to see a high number of people supportingNader.

San Diegans supporting Bush said they think Bush will come out thevictor in Florida. A Florida election official said the recount willnot end “until the close of business on Thursday,” and ballots castby Americans living in other countries might take another 10 days totally.

San Diego resident Dale Luther said he voted for Bush because ofhis platform.

“He’s someone you can trust,” he said. “He’s straightforward.”

Luther said he feels there is a misconception of Bush’s stand onhis environmental policies, particularly when it comes to tappinginto oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve.

“Most people are environmentalists,” he said. “They don’t want topollute our oceans and beaches. We need to develop a system in theANWR for more oil. Gore doesn’t seem to be able to do this.”

Micah Collins, Young Republicans president and student atSouthwestern College, said he supports Bush’s economic andeducational policies.

Collins said although he was upset to see Proposition 38 — theschool voucher plan — get turned down, he is optimistic that Bushwill win Election 2000.

“Bush would allow people to choose how they invest in theirfuture,” he said. “He gives us more choices than Gore.”

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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Florida, We Have a Problem