Archive for Saturday, December 2, 2000

With little fanfare Kansas certifies election outcome

Thank God it’s not Florida seems to be official sentiment

December 2, 2000


— Florida has its sandy beaches, its warm winter weather and tourist attractions.

But Kansas has a presidential vote free of controversy.

Registered voters: 1,622,131Casting ballots: 1,083,264Turnout: 66.8%Predicted turnout: 70%

The State Board of Canvassers met Friday and certified the results of the Nov. 7 general election.

The meeting took about 20 minutes, but mostly because Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh went through voter turnout numbers and honored county election workers with 50 or more years of experience.

"I've always been proud to be a Kansan, but now I'm especially happy to be the Kansas secretary of state," Thornburgh said after the meeting.

The board includes Thornburgh, Gov. Bill Graves and Atty. Gen. Carla Stovall.

Stovall was out of state attending a meeting and was represented by Assistant Atty. Gen. Rich Smith.

"This is how it culminates, with a very orderly process," said Graves, who served eight years as secretary of state before being elected governor in 1994.

One reason there was no controversy about the presidential vote in Kansas is that Republican nominee George W. Bush carried the traditionally GOP state by a wide margin.

The certified results said Bush received more than 622,000 votes, for 58 percent of the total cast.

Democrat Al Gore received about 399,000 votes, or 37.2 percent.

In contrast, Florida's canvassers certified Bush as the winner with a lead of only 537 votes out of 6 million cast, but legal challenges by Bush and Gore continue.

Thornburgh said he has exchanged e-mail messages with Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris and talked with her once by phone.

Harris, like Thornburgh, is a Republican who supported Bush.

Democrats have criticized her strongly and suggested she's acted to help the Bush campaign.

Thornburgh, naturally, takes a different view.

"She's a good friend and doing a great job under impossible circumstances," Thornburgh said.

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