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Florida – the ‘suspense’ state

John McPhee, McThoughts

The long awaited results of the presidential election in Florida are finally in – Al Gore did win.

is it about Florida that makes it a national embarrassment for America every four years? While virtually every other important ‘swing state’ reported in their results on election night last Tuesday, (Nov. 6), Florida’s election was still being counted in several counties into Saturday.

News outlets, including The Tampa Bay Times Herald (I like that name!), reported huge line ups at voting stations – with some people waiting more than four hours to vote – and pictures of their ballots looked like a manual on how to assemble a gas barbecue.

Florida’s Governor Rick Scott has promised another review. They also had an extensive review after the infamous ‘chad ballots’ of 2000 where the world waited for about a month before George W. Bush was declared the winner in Florida (and thus the presidential race).

At least this time the results got it right and awarded the state to President Obama, but not by much, 50 to 49.1 per cent. I think most of Canada (except those with posters of Stephen Harper in their homes) were relieved to see Obama win.

One of the strangest stories I saw coming from the U.S. election was a 28-year-old Arizona woman who chased down her husband in a shopping mall parking lot and ran him over because he didn’t vote. The chase lasted for quite some time before she pinned her car on him.

She was upset at his non-participation because she worried that Obama’s win would present hardship for her family. Ironically, Arizona supported Republican Mitt Romney which gave him that state’s 11 electoral votes. So her husband’s vote wouldn’t have had any impact on the national picture.

But you must admit, Republican politicians and their supporters do have a way with making the news of the bizarre.

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