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November 09, 2000 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-11-09

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2A- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 9, 2000

NATION/WORLD--

VNS
Continued from Page 1A
follow suit because they were criti-
cized for being slow.
Achen said the networks made this
call before a single vote was counted.
University communications studies
Prof. Mike Traugott, who worked with
retrieving exit poll information in
Michigan for the Detroit radio station
WJR, attributed some of the exit poll
miscalculation to human errors when
entering the Florida data into the sys-
tem.
Media organizations recalled the
win and announced that Florida was
too close to call. Then at 2:25 a.m.
with 95 percent of the precincts report-
ing, the networks blundered again.
They announced George W. Bush
had won Florida and the presidency.

Shortly after Gore had telephoned
Bush to concede the election, the net-
works recalled the results as official
numbers showed an increase for Gore
causing the vice president to retract his
concession.
"This was a ghastly night," Achen
said. "The heart of this problem is a
35-year-old computer system" VNS
uses to analyze exit polls.
"The software is a great achievement
for the '60s or '70s," he said, but added
that analysts have learned so much
about calling elections, including the
absentee ballots and correcting for bias-
es, "none of which have been used:"
VNS officials could not be reached
for comment.
Traugott said the media will be criti-
cized for their part in the miscalcula-
tion of the election and said that "the
Republicans, in particular" are going

to use this "to further erode public per-
ception of the media."
But Traugott also said because of
First Amendment rights, he doubts there
will be legal action against the media.
The Florida Secretary of State's
office said that the results will be in by
5 p.m. today but if absentee ballots
alter the results then election officials
will wait until Nov. 17 - the deadline
to receive absentee ballots - to
announce the winner.
"The absentees are almost surely
going to go Republican," Achen said,
based on historic data in Florida. But
he added that nothing is absolute.
"'We've never seen it,' is not the same
as, 'it didn't happen this year."'
Traugott cited some evidence find-
ing that many of the absentee ballots
are from overseas military personnel
which tend to vote more Republican.
But recent evidence suggests that
some military personnel are minorities
from working class families who may
sway toward Gore.

According to Florida State Election
law, when the margin of votes is less
than half of 1 percent, there is an auto-
matic recount.
Florida election officials are current-
ly recounting the votes.
Achen said that in 1996 there
was a similar scenario in which a
New Hampshire race was called
early and was eventually recalled.
Achen said that he had asked the
network not to call that race and
they did anyway.
Achen said Florida looked exactly
like New Hampshire did in the 1996
race.
In 1948, The Chicago Daily Tribune
ran a headline, saying "Dewey defeats
Truman," when in fact President Harry
Truman won the election.
Last night major metropolitan news-
papers were caught with the same
dilemma printed stories stating that
Bush had won the election and having
to pull copies off the shelves to print
updated editions.

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Vermont's gay union law affects voters
MONTPELIER, Vt. -- Vermont's new civil unions law for gay couples frac
tured Vermont's electorate, with voters re-electing the Democratic governor bu
handing the state House over to the GOP
Gov. Howard Dean, who earlier this year signed the law granting gay couple
most of the rights and privileges of marriage, was re-elected to his fifth term Tue
day with just over 50 percent. The Democrats also retained control of the Senate.
But opponents of the law took some of their frustrations out by ousting more t
a dozen lawmakers who voted in favor of it. Combined with the retirements of
number of veteran Democrats, the losses shifted control of the House back to th
Republicans for the first time in 14 years.
Dean's Republican opponent, Ruth Dwyer, a strong critic of civil unions, wa
held to just 38 percent of the vote. Progressive Anthony Pollina, who supports civi
unions, took 10 percent.
The combined Dean-Pollina vote buoyed supporters of civil unions.
"To me, it's clear, just looking at the fact that 60 percent of Vermonters voted fo
gubernatorial candidates that supported civil unions, a strong majority of Vermon
ters are ready to move on, to put the sloganeering aside, stop talking about takini
Vermont back or forward or taking it anywhere, and sit down as one commufl
and put our minds to solving some of the real problems that we confront," said Be
Robinson, a leader of the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force.
W ashington waits gested Gorton was increasingly out o
step with the electorate.
on final Senate race Gorton, scion of a New Englan
fish-sticks family, retorted that ht
SEATTLE - Republican Sen. was the candidate with new idea
Slade Gorton held a shaky lead yes- and that the S7 million he spen
terday against dot-con millionaire came from 22,000 donors, not o
Maria Cantwell in the nation's last millionaire's checkbook.
unresolved Senate race.
Of more than 1.6 million votes W orlds m le
counted, Gorton, an 18-year Senate S smaiiest
veteran, led by about 3,200 votespa e k ri baby
with hundreds of thousands of 1
absentee ballots still to be counted. PORTLAND, Ore. - A prematur
The race could remain unsettled baby with a heart defect was fitted witi
for days, what doctors say is the world's smalles
Cantwell, 42, predicted victory pacemaker after the U.S. Food an
based on absentee ballots, saying Drug Administration granted doctor:
most of the uncounted votes are in an exemption to use the experimen
King County and other large coun- device.
ties where she ran strongest. "The device has been proven to wor
Gorton, 72, said he expects to pull so far in trials and this baby could havt
out a victory, too. had dire complications without it, so wt
"W hen it's all done, I'm con- appealed to the FDA to let us use it,'
vinced I'll be in Washington, D.C.," Dr. Seshadri Balaji. a pediatric cardiol
he said. ogist, said Tuesday.
Cantwell, a senior vice president of The new heart-regulating device
the Internet audio-video software com- called a "Microny is about a third thL
pany Realnetworks, plowed S10 million size of a traditional pacemaker and i
of her fortune into a campaign that sug- undergoing FDA clinical trials.
ARONDTHE WORLD
Fighting continues Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Ba
estBanikGazwas to meet with Clinton on Sunday.
In W est Bank, Gaza Barak said on Israeli television tha
he will not ask for resumption o
JERUSALEM - Violence flared peace negotiations. "I go to Washi
in the West Bank and Gaza Strip ton to ensure that the end of viole
yesterday even as Palestinian leader that was agreed on at Sharm el-Sheil
Yasser Arafat headed for Washing- is carried out if that is possible. That i
ton to consult with President Clin- all," he said, referring to a truce medi
ton. Palestinian gunmen killed a ated last month by Clinton in Egypt.
customs worker on her way to work,
and four Palestinians were shot dead
in clashes. Chinese smugglers
The Palestinian leader flew to Cairo get death sentence
to meet with Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak - the main sponsor, SHANGHAI, China - Splash
with Clinton, of the peace process - pictures of ill-gotten gains across tiu
and then to Britain for a meeting with main evening news broadcast, Chin
Prime Minister Tony Blair. announced death sentences yesterda
Arafat, who spoke with Blair dur- for 11 people, among them police an
ing a three-hour London stop, "under- government officials, in the nation'i
lined the important role which Britain largest corruption scandal,
and the European Union could play in In all, 84 people were convicted o
support of the peace process," a Blair involvement in a multibillion-dolla
spokesman said. No further details smuggling ring that doled out hug
were known. bribes to officials whose influenc
The Palestinian leader was due in touched the apex of power.
Washington by nightfall, and is sched-
uled to meet with Clinton today. - Comlpiledion Daily wire repo.rs
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