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Americans went to bed on election night without knowing

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  • Gregory
    Too close to call Tight U.S. presidential elections have been decided by the House of Representatives, by an Electoral Commission in the Compromis The Arizona
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 3, 2004
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      Too close to call
      Tight U.S. presidential elections have been decided by the House of
      Representatives, by an Electoral Commission in the Compromis

      The Arizona Republic
      Nov. 3, 2004 08:34 AM

      Once again, Americans went to bed on election night without knowing
      who will be sworn in as president in January.

      It was an election-night replay of 2000, when the race between George
      W. Bush and Al Gore hinged on disputed results in Florida. It would
      take weeks - and a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court - to become final.

      For younger voters, the drawn-out election of 2000 was a new
      experience. But as the controversy raged over Florida, older
      Americans remembered the 1976 presidential election, in which Jimmy
      Carter wasn't declared the winner over Gerald Ford until the wee
      hours of the morning after the election.


      Through much of the campaign, then-President Ford trailed in the
      polls as the Republican Party tried to rid itself of the Watergate
      scandal that forced out Richard Nixon and put Ford at the helm. Ford,
      who had pardoned Nixon after assuming the presidency, made big gains
      in the closing weeks.

      It was daybreak on the East Coast when Carter was declared the winner
      with 297 electoral votes and 51.1 percent of the popular vote.

      Before Carter and Ford, another long election night in modern times
      was in 1960, when John F. Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon. It was the
      next day before America found out that Kennedy won 303 electoral
      votes to 219, but the margin in the popular vote was less than
      109,000.

      The 1968 election is of note, not because a winner wasn't declared on
      election night, but because the popular vote was much closer than
      expected. Richard Nixon beat Hubert Humphrey 301-191 in the Electoral
      College but the popular vote was 31,710,470 to 30,898,055.

      In American history, election night had much less cachet without the
      modern news media but other presidential elections had similarities
      to the 2000 vote in that higher levels of government determined the
      results.

      In 1876, Samuel Tilden lost to Rutherford B. Hayes on an electoral
      vote that hinged on three Southern states where voting fraud was
      alleged.

      The controversy resulted in a congressional commission that would
      decide the outcome of the election.

      The commission voted 8-7 along party lines to declare Hayes the
      winner. The results received final approval on March 2, 1877, three
      days before the inauguration.

      In 1800, although Aaron Burr ran for vice president on the Democratic-
      Republican ticket with Thomas Jefferson, there wasn't a separate
      ballot for president and vice president. Both received an equal
      number of electoral votes, which threw the election into the House of
      Representatives. The House deliberated from Feb. 11, 1801 to Feb. 17
      and voted 36 times. Jefferson drew support from Hamilton's Federalist
      Party and won. Burr became vice president. What if that election had
      swung the other way and Burr had won?

      "We would have had an abolitionist president in 1800, which would
      have been quite different," says Roger Kennedy, former director of
      the National Park Service, who has written several books about Burr
      and Jefferson.

      Kennedy envisions these developments: Not permitting slavery in the
      territories of the Louisiana Purchase, a violent confrontation
      between North and South decades before the Civil War (with the North
      still winning), a war with Mexico much earlier than 1848, Texas
      joining the United States decades earlier and one more scenario worth
      pondering: "We probably would have had the first women appointed to
      significant posts in the federal government, probably a full century
      before that happened."



      From Republic research. Michael Precker of the Dallas Morning News
      contributed to this article.
    • greg
      Burr was an abolitionist? I ve always only seen him portrayed as power-hungry and violent, I wouldn t have guessed he was an abolitionist.
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 3, 2004
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        Burr was an abolitionist? I've always only seen him portrayed as
        power-hungry and violent, I wouldn't have guessed he was an abolitionist.
        > In 1800, although Aaron Burr ran for vice president on the Democratic-
        > Republican ticket with Thomas Jefferson, there wasn't a separate
        > ballot for president and vice president. Both received an equal
        > number of electoral votes, which threw the election into the House of
        > Representatives. The House deliberated from Feb. 11, 1801 to Feb. 17
        > and voted 36 times. Jefferson drew support from Hamilton's Federalist
        > Party and won. Burr became vice president. What if that election had
        > swung the other way and Burr had won?
        >
        > "We would have had an abolitionist president in 1800, which would
        > have been quite different," says Roger Kennedy, former director of
        > the National Park Service, who has written several books about Burr
        > and Jefferson.
        >
        > Kennedy envisions these developments: Not permitting slavery in the
        > territories of the Louisiana Purchase, a violent confrontation
        > between North and South decades before the Civil War (with the North
        > still winning), a war with Mexico much earlier than 1848, Texas
        > joining the United States decades earlier and one more scenario worth
        > pondering: "We probably would have had the first women appointed to
        > significant posts in the federal government, probably a full century
        > before that happened."
        >
        >
        >
        > From Republic research. Michael Precker of the Dallas Morning News
        > contributed to this article.
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