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November 16, 2000 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-11-16

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 16, 2000
Clock 'running out'
FLORIDA state officials certify the results "not to negoti-
ate, but to improve the tone of our dialogue in
Continued from Page 1A America." And he said both candidates should
pledged that, if Republicans allow manual meet again after a winner is declared "to close
recounts to continue in Florida's Broward, Palm ranks as Americans."
Beach and Miami-Dade counties, he would Democrats said precious time was wasting
accept without challenge whatever tally those while Republicans tied up the recount drive in
recounts should yield -- added to certified court.
results from 64 other counties and overseas "They stop and start and stop. And the clock.
absentee ballots due by midnight Friday. is running out," Gore campaign chairman
'1 will take no legal action to challenge the William Daley said of the recounts, then added
result, and I will not support any legal actin to in a slap at the Republican secretary of state:
challenge the result,"Gore said, offering to drop "Her clock anyhow."
the threat of major Democratic litigation that Their closely fought campaign ended more
has hung over the proceedings for days. than a week ago with Bush holding a 1,784-
He suggested a meeting with Bush before vote lead in Florida's election. State law

ELECTION 2000

on Florida election

required a machine-tabulated recount, which
trimmed Bush's lead to 300 votes. Both sides
expect Bush will win a majority of the overseas
ballots.
That makes Gore's effort to recount votes in
Democratic-leaning counties critical.
An NBC-Wall Street Journal poll showed a
small majority of voters said they are willing to
wait for the recounts if the choice is between
naming a victor now or rechecking the ballots.
But seven out of 10 said a winner should be
declared once the overseas ballots are added to
the totals this weekend.
By a 2-1 margin, voters told pollsters they
thought Bush would be the next president.
Senior Gore advisers say the presidency hinges

on whether they can show progress in the next
two or three days. They need vote gains to per-
suade courts to keep the recounts going and,
more importantly, to survive the court of public
opinion.
In private, Gore's team grudgingly admired
Harris' decision to appeal to the state Supreme
Court, saying the action effectively froze their
recount drives for critical hours. Publicly,
lawyer David Boies said, "We think it would be
very unreasonable to ask people to stop those
recounts, because the game here may be - I
hope not - but the game may be, delay those
recounts as long as possible and then bring.
down the curtain."
Republican vice president Dick Cheney was

ecounting
yanking at the curtain in Austin, where he
thanked campaign workers and told them the
weekend's vote totals "will wrap it up."
Gore holds a popular-vote lead of about
230,000, and has a narrow lead in electoral
votes - with Florida the prize that would put
either man over the 270 vot'es required to w
the White House.
In a telephone interview, Daley said the coun-
ties need more time to complete their recounts.
He said officials in Broward and Palm Beach
counties seem eager to get to work. "Everybody
is trying to speed this up. Whether or not there is
a deadline Friday, they figure if they can go crazy
maybe they can get some (recounts) in" before
the deadline, he told the AR

Lawmakers propose review.
of Electoral College system

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WASHINGTON - Two congressmen proposed a broad
review of the American electoral process yesterday, one of
numerous ideas arising out of Congress in the wake of the
presidential election standoff that has brought legislative
work to a halt.
Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Jim Leach (R-lowa)
introduced legislation to form a bipartisan 12-member com-
mission to recommend how best to ensure the integrity of
future federal elections.
The panel would look into such issues as. the rationale for
the Electoral College, voter registration, mail-in balloting,
voting technology, ballot design, weekend -voting and cam-
paign finance reform.
"It's time we gather constitutional scholars and election
experts together to review the electoral process and identify
areas that warrant reform in order to avoid the confusion
that we're encountering this year,"' DeFazio said.
The Uncertainty over the presidential winner hit home in
Congress, where the House and Senate agreed this week to
extend the lame-duck session with a three-week recess.
There was consensus between the parties that differences
cannot be resolved thisyear without knowing who will be
in the White House next year.
Also today, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) asked the Gener-

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al Accounting Office, the investigative wing of Congress, to
examine state election laws and practices and how they com-
pare in minimizing fraud, error and irregularities. She also
asked the GAO to look into voting over the Internet.
Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania propos
this week establishment of a commission to study ways to
ensure speedy and accurate reporting of election results,
including technology to computerize vote counting and the
effectiveness of voting by mail.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he will introduce legis-
lation in January to pay for a study by the Federal Election
Commission on alternative voting methods. He said the FEC
should look into such areas as online voting, voting by mail,
computerized voting machines and expanded voting hours.
His bill also would create a matching grant program to give
states the financial incentive for new voting methods.
"The current system is antediluvian. We haven't updat
it in any significant way in years, and that's one of the rea-
sons why turnout has declined by nearly 20 percent since
1960,"Schumer said.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) says he plans to introduce
legislation creating a commission to look into how to maxi-
mize best the simplicity of voter registration and the ease of
voting.
Fox New
reviewing
actions of
consultan
NEW YORK (AP) - Fox News
Channel is investigating whether an
election night consultant related to
George W. Bush provided his cousin's
campaign with insider exit poll data.
But the network downplayed John
Ellis' role in helping Fox News Chan-
nel declare at 2:16 a.m. on Wednesda
that Bush had won the presidency.
Ellis worked under temporary con-
tract and his status is under review,
said John Moody, Fox News Channel
vice president for news and editorial
quality.
Ellis, a first cousin to the Texas gov-
ernor, directed Fox's decision team on
election night. He.was responsible for
interpreting election data and helping
Fox News Channel declare states for
either Bush or Al Gore.
"He was hired by Fox because of
ability, not his bloodline," Moody said.
Ellis worked for I1 years at NBC
News and had an excellent reputation
as an elections returns analyst, he said.
The New Yorker magazine reported
that Ellis had frequent phone conversa-
tions.with Bush and his brother, Flori-
da Gov. Jeb Bush election night,
letting them know about the vote.
Fox is examining whether tho
conversations violated rules set b
Voter News Service restricting when
exit poll information could be
released. VNS is a consortium that
conducts the surveys for five television
networks and The Associated Press.
Ellis, who would not comment,
acknowledged in a letter to The New
Yorker that he spoke with George W.
Bush twice on the afternoon of Nov. 7,
but did not share any exit poll data.
"I did tell him I thought the ra
would be close overall, but he was
already well aware of that," Ellis said
in the letter.
Ellis; whose mother, Nancy Ellis, is
the sister of former President George
Bush, acknowledged speaking fre-
quently with both cousins in the
evening - but about vote results, not
exit poll information.
Other members of Fox's electio
night team were communicating wi
Gore's campaign, he said.

By about 2 a.m., the statistics were
looking good for Bush, and The New
Yorker said this was reflected in Ellis'
phone conversations.
"It was just the three of us guys
handing the phone back and forth -

m

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