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Electoral EndGame.

Uploaded 17 November, AD 2000.
Minor Revisions 19 November, AD 2000.

Once the Florida Secretary of State makes a final certification in favor of George W, Bush, it's over. There will be no way for Al Gore to win under the going rules.

The text below is not the literal text of "An act to fix the day for the meeting of the electors of president and vice president, and to provide for and regulate the counting of the votes for president and vice president, and the decision of questions arising thereon" (the exact text of which Aetherco has yet to find) but apparently this is the gist of the law since Grover Cleveland signed it on February 3, 1887...

Important note. This is not part of the Constitution. This is not the part about choosing the President and Vice-President in the separate houses. It is an act of Congress intended to avoid the electoral problems that surfaced in the presidential election of 1876. Oh well. The act is a procedural law, and any gamer worth his or her salt can see by reading it that any dispute– even a spurious dispute– raised over Florida's electoral votes during the joint session of Congress that counts those votes will throw the election to George W. Bush.

No amount of additional legal hand-wringing or vote-counting in Florida can make any difference. Any reason to dispute certified electoral votes will allow one Senator with one Congressman to hand the decision to the Republican-controlled House... or the Governor of Florida. (See below.)

The 1887 law could be overturned by U.S. Supreme Court, but that would leave us with the equally biased and confusing 19th Century attempts to solve the crisis, as the only precedents. Or maybe House Republicans will vote for Mr. Gore. But there is no time to grow a mature pig with wings, even with modern genetic technology, before January 20.

Of course, this doesn't mean Mr. Gore cannot become President in AD 2001. Mr. Clinton could vacate his office early, say after the early January electoral vote count, allowing Mr. Gore to both vote for himself in the Senate and become President. Once installing himself in the White House, he merely has to not do what John Adams did when Jefferson defeated him. That is, leave on Inauguration Day.

If Mr. Gore is sufficiently adamant, Mr. Bush will have to rule from Avignon– er, Austin. We suppose the armed forces will have fun sorting it out between the Chief of all the red counties and the Chief of all the blue counties. Though using die-cut counters will likely become a thing of the past.

The rest of us Americans had better watch out for those wily Burgundians.

Regarding the Electors Act of 1887:
'The next change affecting the Electoral College came a decade after the meeting of the Electoral Commission: on 3 February 1887, President Grover Cleveland signed into law a bill changing the date of the meeting of the Electors in their respective States to cast their votes for President and Vice-President to the second Monday in January (instead of the first Wednesday in December, as heretofore)- this was to give time for the States to adjudge any dispute involving the Electoral Vote from that State (among the other provisions of this 1887 Act are the following: the States may- by law- provide for a method of settling disputes over who the Electors should be BEFORE the Electors meet to cast their votes and the Governors of the States are required to certify as to who the Electors are once they are formally "appointed" [in current practice, the Electors are those chosen by the Party whose presidential candidate won the plurality of the presidential vote in that State (or, in Maine and Nebraska, the Congressional District as regards Electors to be chosen by district), so that their "appointment" is effective once the Secretary of the State officially certifies the results of the State's (or Congressional District's) popular vote for President of the United States]: if there is only one set of returns sent by a State, it is to be accepted as the Electoral Vote of that State, but- in the case of two or more sets of returns- if there is a question as to who has the lawful authority to have settled a dispute involving Electors from a given State OR if no determination was made by a given State re: a dispute involving that State's Electors, the two houses of Congress are to vote separately on the issue [upon an objection by at least one Senator and one Congressman to the counting of that State's Electoral Vote during the Joint Session]- if the Senate and the House agree in their separate votes, their "concurrent" decision becomes the official determination of the Electoral Vote from a disputed State, but- if they disagree in their separate votes- then the Electors as certified by the Governor of the given State becomes the official determination of who lawfully cast the Electoral Vote for that State.'



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