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Bush wins Electoral College vote

The Associated Press

In the end, the Electoral College outcome may have been the one vote in election 2000 that could have easily been predicted – with a narrow but resounding victory for Texas Gov.

Tuesday, December 19, 2000

In the end, the Electoral College outcome may have been the one vote in election 2000 that could have easily been predicted – with a narrow but resounding victory for Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

The Republican president-elect’s supporters maintained unwavering unity on Monday, with Nevada’s four electors putting him over the top with a total of 271 votes, one more than the Constitution requires.

Now all that remains is for Congress to tally the votes on Jan. 6, and then the inauguration.

One ”faithless elector” surfaced, but instead of damaging Bush’s margin of victory, a District of Columbia Democrat left her Gore ballot blank. Barbara Lett-Simmons said it was a protest about the district’s lack of representation in Congress.

The results, despite the remote possibility of rogue electors, were expected – unlike Election Day itself, the recounts that followed, or any of the contentious and complex decisions from the Florida Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.

”It’s a little anticlimactic, but it’s darn exciting,” said Chuck Clay, Georgia’s GOP chairman and a Bush elector. ”I think we all felt pretty certain of the outcome. But you just want it over.”

Usually, the Electoral College is a little-noticed hour or two of paperwork, ceremony and maybe lunch for the party faithful.

Not this year. The meetings in every state capital and the District of Columbia were swarming with reporters and cameras, students, color guards and visitors in costume.

”I just wanted to be able to say that I was there and I saw it happen,” said Stewart Livingston, 13, who came with several classmates to watch the Georgia electors vote. A schoolteacher showed up at Florida’s meeting dressed like Ben Franklin. And in Arkansas, the staid Supreme Court chambers looked like a disco from the strobe lights of flashing news cameras. Others joked.

”Your guy is B-U-S-H. Push it all the way through,” GOP Gov. Bill Owens told Colorado’s electors as they cast their eight votes.

States out West saw snow storms delay some electors, while one North Dakota elector narrowly missed hitting three deer on his way.

And in some states there were tears.

”I wish it would have been President Al Gore,” said Nancy McGinnis, a Gore elector in Washington state, her eyes welling up.

In Gore’s home state of Tennessee, all 11 electoral votes, as expected, went to Bush. And Florida – after five turbulent weeks of recounts and legal challenges – kept its promise and cast its 25 votes for the Republican.