By Salon staff

By Letters to the Editor

Published November 9, 2000 8:13AM (EST)

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With Al Gore irrevocably ahead in the popular vote, George W. Bush should concede the election. Why? Because distrust of government was the cornerstone of his campaign.

Here was a man who said he trusted the American people to make their own decisions, not Washington, D.C. How ironic that he could accept the presidency via the Electoral College, an institution created by our founding government as a safeguard against the wishes of the American voters. Such an outcome runs counter to everything he proclaimed during the campaign.

-- Ernest D. Gibble

It should be obvious to the citizens of the U.S. that the Electoral College system is outdated and unfair. State-by-state, winner-take-all politics is warping the democratic process in this country.

What is so radical about electing our officials by popular vote, as we do at the state level? The Electoral College system also ensures that no third party alternatives will ever become electable, leading to cynical political arm-twisting by the established parties and the disaffection of millions of people. Is this the best that we can do? I think not. Down with the Electoral College! It's time for popular democracy.

-- Vincent Hill

Thank heaven for the Electoral College. The wisdom of the founding fathers was never more on display than in the results of this election. Regionally, the Democrats carried the Northeast and the left coast. The Electoral College was designed so that the large populous states could not dominate the smaller states.

-- Alan Fedele

I am a registered voter of Florida living with my USAF husband in the United Kingdom. This year, I received two absentee ballots from Florida. I thought this was just a mistake, but discovered several people I work with received two absentee ballots from Florida. That means many of the military people overseas are getting two votes per person. This would favor the Republicans enormously, as the military community is mostly Republican. If this has happened throughout Florida, the election could be determined by these illegal second votes. Has this been reported by anyone else?

-- Name withheld at writer's request

With so many discrepancies in the Florida ballots, a runoff election is absolutely necessary.

-- David R. Slayton

I live in Palm Beach County, Florida. I am not a senior. I know for a fact at least 500, maybe as many as 1,000 people in Palm Beach County wrongly voted for Pat Buchanan, when they meant to vote for Al Gore. This means we may very well have elected the president of the United States by mistake! That is incomprehensible to me. The elections people in Palm Beach County should be ashamed of themselves for producing this type of confusing ballot in an election this crucial. How can these people live with themselves?

-- Joe Casale

I have reviewed the above Florida ballot. I think anybody who says it's confusing is basically an idiot. The arrow points directly to the correct hole. In this country you get to vote once and that's it. Pay attention next time. The recount is taking place now. When that recount is complete we all need to accept the result.

-- Jim Mulligan

I have a Ph.D. with substantial training in statistics. Based on statistical theory, it is nearly impossible that all news services were wrong when they gave an early and clear projection of Gore as the winner in Florida. It is even more unlikely that George and Jeb knew that this projection was wrong based on simple prescience. A recount is not sufficient. Each suspicious block of votes must be investigated.

It may be an incorrect premise to assume that the projections were incorrect and to search for reasons why. Rather, we should also consider the premise that the projections were accurate and that something went wrong in the electoral process.

-- Robert Kraft

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