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Tri-State residents speak out

November 08, 2000

Tri-State residents speak out



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


Many Tri-State residents interviewed Wednesday said the time has come to do away with the Electoral College.

It doesn't make sense that candidate George Bush, for example, could win the election with sufficient Electoral College votes even though Al Gore might win the popular vote, several people interviewed said.

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Eliminating the Electoral College would increase voter participation because it would increase the meaning of individual votes, said Pam Clipp of Hagerstown.

Some said they were confused about why it's taking so long to determine which presidential candidate won Tuesday's General Election.

Several of the people interviewed at City Park and the Long Meadow Shopping Center said they stayed up past midnight watching news coverage of the election.

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Amos Mills of Hagerstown was up until 3 a.m. watching as the television networks first declared Bush a winner, then backed off, saying the race was too close to call.

Expecting to know this morning who won the race, he turned the television back on at 6 a.m.. only to be disappointed again.

"Nobody had it," he said. "I'm still sitting around wondering who is going to win."

Mills said he thinks the Electoral College should be eliminated, a step that would give more meaning to individual votes.

Pat Shadrock of Falling Waters, W. Va., stayed up until 11 p.m. watching the coverage before concluding, "I can't take it any more."

Shadrock said she does not see the point of the Electoral College. It served its purpose as a ritual but is no longer needed, she said.

Terry Palkovitz of Hagerstown agreed.

"A vote should be a vote," she said. The Electoral College "was for the Pony Express days."

Jeremy Brown of Waynesboro, Pa., was up until 5 a.m. watching the coverage.

"I was confused," he said.

Brown said he thinks the whole setup for elections should be changed to include getting rid of the Electoral College.

George Bailey of Hagerstown said he has no problem with the Electoral College.

"It's worked up to now," he said. While it's a hassle in close elections, usually the system works fine, he said.

William Jarcy of Boonsboro watched television coverage until 3 a.m., but knew it was going to be a close race and that the results wouldn't be known for a day or two.

Jarcy said he doesn't advocate elimination of the Electoral College but thinks the popular vote should be a bigger factor than it is.

William Garfus of Cascade disagreed.

"I say the College should be done away with. Our vote should count directly," he said.

Leroy Baker, the barber at Baker's Barber and Beauty Shop, said he watched television election coverage until 11 p.m. and found it frustrating that a winner wasn't declared.

"I wish I knew," he said.

Baker had no comment about the possibility of one candidate winning the Electoral College vote and the other the popular vote.

Barbara Taylor of Halfway said people should be able to vote directly for candidates.

Misty Dennison of Hagerstown agreed.

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