• 54°

What will happen this time?

By Staff
Scot Beard
In less than two weeks millions of citizens across the nation will go to the polls to vote for the president.
Most of the time this is a fairly smooth process with little or no controversy.
Those are the boring elections.
America has become a society that loves drama.
As a result, elections that have controversy generate much more interest.
Sometimes this drama is created during the campaign while other times the conflict occurs after the votes are cast.
In 1924 Andrew Jackson won a plurality – but not a majority – of the Electoral College. John Quincy Adams was then selected by the House of Representatives to be the president.
In 1960 Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy campaigned with passion throughout the race and the final results were fairly close with Kennedy earning 303 electoral votes while Nixon finished with 219.
The controversy came from Texas and Illinois, where there was suspicion the election was rigged in Kennedy's favor.
If those states voted for Nixon, he would have won the election.
Fast forward 40 years and the voters in Flori-duh gave the nation its most dramatic election ever.
The Sunshine State offered 25 Electoral College votes. Both candidates – George W. Bush and Al Gore – knew the election could come down to the results in Florida.
As election night shifted into a new day, the votes in Florida were too close to call. The next day a clear winner had not emerged.
Several recounts ensued as concerns emerged about the types of ballets used in only a few counties.
A little more than a month later the United States Supreme Court ruled the recounts should stop and Florida should certify the results.
Bush won – by five Electoral College votes – and controversy about a rigged election continued to grow.
It did not help that Bush's brother was the governor of Florida.
Four years later Bush won another close election, decided by the 20 Electoral College votes in Ohio.
This year's election could prove interesting. It will be a historical election, as the nation will choose either the nation's first black president or the nation's first female vice president.
Of course, with recent history of odd elections, this could be the year that is the most dramatic.
Neither of the candidates could get the majority of Electoral College votes which would give the House of Representatives the power to elect the president and the Senate the power to elect the vice president.
Barack Obama could become president and Sarah Palin could be the vice president. It would be an interesting – and even more historical – conclusion to this election.

x