Election a hot but tiring topic in the Miss-Lou

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2000

The ballot counting, court hearings and partisan protests that have taken place in Florida over the last three weeks are still a hot topic in the Miss-Lou, according to party pundits and citizens at large. That is true even though many interviewed Tuesday said they are growing tired of the situation, which has taken up much of the nation’s front pages and newscasts since the Nov. 7 election.

&uot;Personally I just want it to be over with,&uot;&160;Chuck Bartlett of Natchez said. &uot;I think it’s gone on long enough.&uot;

&uot;This is for the birds,&uot; said Glen Kelly of Monterey, La. &uot;Whoever’s got the most votes, they should let go on in (to office). They keep on dragging it out. All they want to do is go through court.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

Beverly Merrill, a member of the Adams County Democratic executive committee, said she is concerned with the trouble people had voting in Florida.

&uot;Probably … the best thing to do is revote the state,&uot; Merrill said. &uot;At this point my only other option would be to toss the whole state out because they can’t get it together.&uot;

Judy Sullivan of Vidalia, La., agreed. &uot;I think they should throw it out and start over,&uot; she said. &uot;(Gore’s camp) keeps on fighting it. As it is, here’s a bunch of crooked politicians and lawyers running things down there (in Florida). … It’s enough to make you not want to vote again.&uot;

By tossing out the results of the Florida election, the state’s electoral votes would not count, making Vice President Al Gore the winner of the popular vote and the most electoral votes, Merrill said.

But if that takes place, Florida residents are most likely to file lawsuits for disfranchisement, she added.

Like everyone else, Merrill said all she is following the election and &uot;hoping that a miracle occurs by Christmas&uot; and that the outcome is finalized.

She jokingly compared the situation to the biblical story of King Solomon, who suggested cutting a baby in half.

She suggested the solution may be to have co-presidents and co-vice presidents. &uot;We can find out just out how bipartisan we can be,&uot; she said.

Pat Dickens, chairman of the Adams County Republican Party, said she, like most Americans, is &uot;emotionally worn out&uot; by the wearing on of the electoral process.

&uot;It’s been like an emotional bungee jump, one minute you’re up and the next you’re down,&uot; Dickens said. &uot;I wish it would be over with, but I think it’s going to grind out in the courts.

&uot;The issue is bigger than the men and their personalities,&uot; she said, adding she believes both men would probably make a good president. &uot;The bigger issue is between the parties and their policies.

&uot;I’m more focused on the issues. I believe that the country will rally behind whoever is elected.&uot;

Joyce Arceneaux, Natchez alderwoman and Democratic activist, agreed to some extent. &uot;It’s not about a personality anymore,&uot; she said. &uot;It’s not even about a party; it’s about the process.&uot;

And to protect the public’s faith in that process, Arceneaux said she strongly believes the outcome of the election should be left up to the courts. &uot;If we at all compromise the process, we compromise the fundamental beliefs, philosophies and foundations this country was built on,&uot; she said.

Many area residents have grown weary of the battle for the presidency. &uot;It’s just a mess,&uot; said Anthony Nettles of Natchez.

&uot;I’m tired of it,&uot; said Karla White of Vidalia. &uot;It should have been over way before now. I&160;cast my vote and expected that to be it.&uot;

&uot;I hope we’ll see soon which one won,&uot; added Gary Gilbert of Vidalia. &uot;This has been going on too long. We need to get through with this and move on.&uot;

Some Natchez residents think it is time for Gore to call it quits. &uot;I think he needs to concede,&uot; said Dan Wynn. &uot;He should have already conceded.&uot;

Tina Warshaw of Vidalia would like Gore to concede, but does not see it happening any time soon.

&uot;Gore wants it, and he’ll do anything to get it,&uot;&160;she said. &uot;Still, I don’t think it’s right — Bush won hands down.

Others residents think Gore should continue to fight.

&uot;I think (Al) Gore should just continue to push,&uot; said Carl Cadin. &uot;I feel that he’s being shafted.&uot;

Bonnie Stewart wants to make sure the count paints a true picture of the voters before making a decision.

&uot;I just feel that Vice-President (Al) Gore should be given every chance and every vote should be counted,&uot; she said.

Natchez resident Chandra Hunt said she just hopes Bush does not win. &uot;I just think it’s a scam,&uot; she said.

Democrat Tom McNeely said people &uot;just need to have patience.&uot;

&uot;I understand why both sides have filed lawsuits,&uot; he said.

&uot;After election, certification parties have a right to file. You have to have faith in the court system,&uot; McNeely said. &uot;I haven’t lost faith in the court system.&uot;

Despite people’s party preferences, Natchez psychologist Dr. Patsy Pintard said no one can fail to be moved by the election. &uot;Maybe out of this comedy of alleged errors we will once again become aware of our democratic process and be more careful in choosing our leaders,&uot; she said. &uot;This is a wake up call long overdue.&uot;

Pintard observed that as Americans, we need to know that every vote does count and that perhaps this election will cause us to be more interested in preventing opportunities for unethical behavior.

While saying that &uot;every citizens should have the right for their vote to count,&uot; William Bailey of Vidalia added he will support whichever man is elected. &uot;Once a candidate has won, we should accept wholeheartedly whichever one is elected,&uot; Bailey said.