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Lake Tahoe Community College campus abuzz with election debates

by Timothy Bowman, Tribune staff writer

Fickle election results have left the American public divided on the Electoral College. The sentiments being expressed by both professors and students at Lake Tahoe Community College exemplify this enigma.

The Electoral College has its roots in early American history. It came into use as a result of inefficient mediums of communication and the belief that the will of the general population was unqualified to make major political decisions.

“(The framers of the Constitution) were very concerned about democracy running amok, so they put a number of wedges between the people and government,” explained Steven Adams political science professor at LTCC. “One of those was the Electoral College.”



The resounding response from both supporters of Democratic candidate Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush is confusion.

“Basically, what I am getting from this is Bush won,” said political science student Lisa Forkner. “Then they decide to go back and do the hand count. The Democrats want to win and they want to keep counting until it comes out in their favor.”



Still, many at LTCC find just cause for a recount to determine whether votes intended for Gore were improperly marked.

“It is very clear that those 19,000 votes that were screwed up and thrown out (in the state of Florida), were Gore supporters,” Adams said.

The current conflict over mismarked ballots comes in part from people who initially voted for the wrong candidate by accident and then went ahead and punched the box for the candidate they intended to vote for on the same ballot, he said. Had they been more informed on the voting procedure, this would not have been an issue.

“A lot of people do not know that you can have a new ballot if you mismark it,” Adams said.

Still, some students feel that ignorance is no excuse and that the voters should have taken the time to read over their sample ballots to ensure their vote would count for the candidate they meant to elect.

“It seems like it is their fault if they could get new ballots,” Forkner said. “If they didn’t know, they should have asked.”

Others are concerned that this election is giving a poor image of the United States to the rest of the world.

“Right now other countries are looking at us like a bunch of clowns are running our country,” said Caylin Manos, a student. “I think Gore would make a good president, but I think what he is doing now, he is making our presidential candidates look unprofessional.”


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