The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 89, No. 20, Ed. 1, Friday, November 3, 2000 Page: 6 of 10
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6a Friday November 3 2000 Optimist
he 'real' election comes later
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Lovers of politics take note:
trie national election may be over
TUesday but the show will go on
In December the Electoral
College will meet to place its
votes for the next president of the
United States. Although the col-
lege has been part of our voting
system for the past 200 years its
methods of operation can be
In the Electoral College each
state has one elector for each of
its representatives and senators.
Currently there arc 538 electors
and a candidate must receive at
least 270 of their votes to win the
Electors usually place their
vote in accordance wjth the
results of the stateb popular vote
so in general a candidate need
only win the popular vote by one
vote to receive all of a states elec-
However a candidate may
win the countrys popular vote
Saving Social Security a real issue
Heaven is a wonderful place
Sherwin Grottis said when he
spoke in Chapel Wednesday. Its a
place where Social Security will
never run out.
But the United States is cer-
tainly not Heaven and Social
Security is in trouble.
Social Security covers a
number of federal programs
including retirement bene
fits. The pro-
gram has oper-
ated well for 65
years but as
likely to break
to oflicial projections by 2037
Social Security will be unable to
paybenefits for allJU.Stchlzens.
tial candidates is: Wliat are they
sSdJkyUppf f I
EDUCATING STUDENTS FOR CHRISTIAN SERVICE
are accepted into
at three times the
and not the electoral vote.
The electoral votes have been
assigned to the 50 states accord-
ing to the size of state population.
For example the state of
California is the most populated
state in the union and receives
the largest number of electoral
votes 54 while Alaska
Wyoming and four other states
have three electoral-votes.
A candidate may win by pop-
ular vote but may lose the elec-
tion by failing to win in states
with a large number of electoral
In the 200 years that the
Electoral College has been the
voting there have only been four
occasions where a candidate has
been elected without receiving
the popular vote and these
instances all occurred before
1900. However because the
2000 election race is close the
possibility of a candidate winning
without the popular vote is real.
There is a chance that Vice
President Al Gore may become
the next president through an
going to do about it?
Both Vice President Al Gore
and Gov. George W. Bush have
plans to save - or at least prolong
the life of- Social Security. Gores
plan is to use the budget surplus
to "pay down" the national debt
and then support
Social Security using
paid on the
wants to add
Plus" accounts. The
government would match
deposits into these
accounts for workers with
a certain income level.
Bushfc plan is to funnel into
Social Security some of the pay-
employers'.1 Ciilieris'would invest
" VtA IS""
electoral vote victory even
though Gov. George Bush may
win the popular vcte according
to the New York Times. Bush
could win the popular vote
because he is likely to win sever-
al individual states with larger
margins than Gore according to
Dr Fred Bailey professor of
history and department chair
said if a candidate wins the elec-
tion without the popular vote a
call for a .revision In the electoral
system will likely occur.
However the alternatives to the
current system have negative
sides as well he said.
Only a constitutional amend-
ment could change the Electoral
College. Bailey said two popular
suggestions toreplace the current
system arc a straight popular vote
or an electoral vote by districts.
"The straight popular vote
would be complicated to certify
and the outcome might take' days
or weeks to be determined
because of the difficulty with
counting and matching all the
this money and these invest-
ments would give higher returns
than the 2 percent Interest gath-
ered by money in the Social
Security trust fund.
Citizens already receiving
benefits would continue to
receive Social Security. Likewise
nothing would change for those
expecting to receive benefits In
the near future.
And while Gore repeats the
word "lockbox" like a mantra
both candidates want to protect
the $0.6 trillion Social Security
trust fund from being used for
anything but Social Security.
Even if they didn't it would
be hard to fight Congress which
according to political Web site
issues2000.org voted 416-12 in
favor of a "lockbox bill."
Voters have questions about
both plans. For example: Gores
plan depends on a budget sur-
plus but what If there isn't a
budget surplus in the future?. Ite
even difficult lo'tell whether there'
Is a budget surplus now.
AND LEADERSHIP THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
ff ven more important these future
doctors carry their Christian values
and exceptional skills into major
research hospitals rural health clinics
and tiny villages in distant countries
where healthcare is scarce.
Physicians from ACU help
change the world. You can too.
votes" he said.
The system of electoral votes
by districts would keep the
Electoral College but modify it
Bailey said. In this system each
senator would have a vote and
the presidency would go to the
candidate who received the most
"Voting by districts could
cause more expensive campaigns
because candidates would have
to campaign In every area to
win" he said. "I think it would
make the whole process more
Bailey said he believes that
despite problems with the
Electoral College it has served
the country well.
Donovan McKeowan sopho-
more political science major from
Mesqulte said he feels the
Electoral College is outdated.
McKeowan favors a system based
around the popular vote.
"A popular vote better reflects
the American people because
each person is represented by
their vote" he said.
According to issues2000 the
federal governments budget sur-
plus is reported from a unified
budget that Includes the federal
budget and the Social Security
trust fund. But if the money from
the untouchable trust fund Is not
considered there is actually a
In 1998 the site reports the
unified- budget was reported as
having a surplus of $40 billion.
But without factoring in the trust
fund there was actually a deficit
of $50 billion. No surplus means
no money with which to save
Bushfc solution also has voters
wondering. First of all how will
citizens be able to use the 2 per-
cent shaved off of their payroll
taxes? Apparently there will be
And then theres the costs that
the federal government must pay
to keep track of these invest-
ments - some estimate the price
of the' new bureaucracy to be as
much as $1 trillion.
Florida and Miss- -ouri
up for grabs
Voters in certain states may
determine the outcome of
close elections and some
experts say this election is one
of the closest races in decades.
News media have identified
several key states in which the
vote could go to either of the
major political parties.
Many experts say voters in
Florida Minnesota Missouri
Wisconsin Michigan Iowa and
Pennsylvania could determine
whether Gov. George W Bush or
Vice President Al Gore serve the
next four years as president.
Sometimes an Individual's
vote carries greater influence
than voters might think. For
example in 1960 John F.
Kennedy won one more vote
per precinct in Illinois three
more votes per precinct in
Missouri and three more votes
per precinct in New Jersey.
These ballots equaled more than
40000 votes that would have
given Nixon the election had'
they not gone to JFK.
A similar situation could
define this year's election
depending on how members of
See the entire platinum collection.
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the Electoral College vote.
Electoral votes for the presi-
dent usually are based on the
popular vote of each state. The
number of electors in each state
equals the number of that state's
representatives and senators in
The presidential candidates
seem to understand the impor-
tance of earning the support of
the swing states that have many
Vote2000.com reports that
Gore flew to Florida Wednesday
in an attempt to secure 25 more
electoral votes. The site quotes
Gore's press secretary as saying
Bush cannot win without the
votes from Florida. Florida has
not supported a Republican
presidential candidate in more
than 50 years. Gore then head-
ed for Pennsylvania which has
23 electoral votes.
Bush also made last-minute
stops in key states. The Web site
reports that Bush visited
Washington which has 1 1 elec-
toral votes on Wednesday.
Polls show that more states
firmly support Bush than Gore
but if the vice president wins
enough of the swing states he
could upset that lead.
While most polls show
Texas strongly supports its
governor some ACU students
may contribute to the votes of
swing states through absentee
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The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 89, No. 20, Ed. 1, Friday, November 3, 2000, newspaper, November 3, 2000; Abilene, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101681/m1/6/: accessed May 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Christian University Library.