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Protestors bombard electors with emails for Al Gore


December 17, 2000

WASHINGTON, Dec 17 (AFP) - Some members of the US Electoral College, who are due Monday to designate the 43rd President of the United States, have been targeted in a massive e-mail campaign encouraging them to cast their votes for Al Gore.

"VoteWithAmerica.com encourages you to make your voice heard by calling, e-mailing or writing to the electors to ask that they vote with America and elect Gore," reads a plea posted on the activist Web site paid for by the Citizens for True Democracy (CTD).

The site gives out the contact names and addresses of some 172 electors in 18 states due to cast their Electoral College vote for Republican President-elect George W. Bush, who was declared the final winner of the election.

Bush won 271 Electoral College votes and therefore the White House, with a tally of one more vote than the 270 that represented more than half the electoral college votes required to win the presidency.

Although Democratic ex-candidate Vice President Gore beat Bush in the popular vote in the US presidential election by some 337,000 votes, on Wednesday Gore officially conceded the battle to Bush.

After a five-week legal battle with the Bush camp to win the disputed 25 Florida votes, which he ultimately lost, Gore made clear he would support no renegade attempts to change the official Electoral College result.

E-mail campaign organizers David Enrich, an expert on electoral reform, and Matt Grossman, the director of CTD, say their campaign "is based on the simple premise that the candidate that wins the most votes nationally should win the election."

According to the conservative Washington Times newspaper, dozens of electors have been bombarded with telephone calls and e-mails.

One third of the solicitations were appeals for votes for Gore, the daily reported.

Electoral College votes are allocated on the basis of the number of US Senators and member of the House of Representatives for each state.

The candidate who wins the majority of a state's popular vote is awarded the state's Electoral College votes.

Florida, the state where the presidential election played out for 36 agonizing days, has two senators and 23 representatives, for a total of 25 Electoral College votes.

In some states, however, electors are not obliged to vote for the winner.

Theoretically, the 2000 election would require just three "rogue electors" to change their votes, giving Al Gore, whose final tally was 267, the 270 he needed to move into the White House on January 20.

© 2000 Agence France-Presse


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