The Chart du Jour

Hung Up Until December

November 8, 2000

By, Barclay T. Leib

Even if the Florida recount gives the U.S. presidential election to Bush, the presidency will not be completely decided until the Electoral Voters actually cast their votes in December. Given that Gore has apparently won the popular vote, might a few states divide their electoral votes? Could this change the results from the official results that the media will be hyping within the next few days?

As described at the Electoral College website, "there is no Constitutional provision or Federal law that requires electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their States. Some States (24 plus DC at last count) require electors to cast their votes according to the popular vote. These pledges fall into two categories -- electors bound by State law and those bound by pledges to political parties.

"The Supreme Court has held that the Constitution does not require that electors be completely free to act as they choose and therefore, political parties may extract pledges from electors to vote for the parties' nominees. Some State laws provide that so-called "faithless electors" may be subject to fines or may be disqualified for casting an invalid vote and be replaced by a substitute elector. The Supreme Court has not specifically ruled on the question of whether pledges and penalties for failure to vote as pledged may be enforced under the Constitution. No elector has ever been prosecuted for failing to vote as pledged."

We think this uncertainty will keep the financial markets under pressure into the Dec 6-11 period. We also praise the forecasting work of Arch Crawford who a month ago wrote of election day: "Mercury backs into Libra for one day, stations and goes back out. This day will not go as expected...Something really stange and unusual will make this day remarkable."

As above, so below.

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