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CAMPAIGN 2000 | TRAIL MIX / Occasional morsels from
Campaign 2000

Political parable

November 06, 2000

Joseph I. Lieberman, who has taken Saturdays off during the campaign to observe the Jewish Sabbath, is fond of making religious analogies on the stump. Campaigning Sunday in Las Vegas--a city that could probably use some religion--Lieberman even drew get-out-the-vote wisdom from the Bible's New Testament. As the Connecticut senator might say, "Who knew?"

"Seek and ye shall find," Lieberman said, quoting the Gospel of Matthew. "Knock and it shall be opened to you, for everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

The biblical lesson for supporters? "Knock on some doors in the next couple of days," he said.

Bush and a peck

Would you consider a peck on the cheek from your spouse a sufficient birthday present? How about a two-hour trip to New Jersey?

George W. Bush's wife, Laura, turned 54 on Saturday, and about 12,000 people serenaded her with "Happy Birthday" at a town square rally in suburban Philadelphia.

"How does it feel to be 30?" Bush jokingly asked his wife.

Another rendition of the song and a huge chocolate cake were served up later as the Bush campaign plane flew from Philadelphia to Newark, N.J.

Bush stood beside his wife to help lead the plane in the song. What did he get for her birthday? Reporters wanted to know.

A sheepish look crossed his face. He shrugged as if to suggest "nothing," then gave her a showy kiss--on her cheek.

"A kiss," he said. That was all? Even Laura Bush looked a little dubious.

"Well, how about a trip to Jersey?" Bush offered.

The Texas governor got a second chance in the gift department Sunday, the couple's 23rd wedding anniversary.

Making the mark

And now a little voting trivia.

Throughout this nation's history, voting took many forms--a show of hands, dropping beans in a bowl or marking ballots printed (helpfully, no doubt) by political parties.

The use of a paper ballot system, in which the candidates and issues appear on uniform official ballots, was first used for statewide elections in New York in 1889. It was called the "Australian ballot" because the system was introduced in the Australian state of Victoria in 1856.

The New York town of Lockport also set a precedent--in 1892--with the first official use of a lever-type voting machine. The newfangled device was known as the "Myers Automatic Booth."

Punch cards didn't make their debut until 1964, when Fulton and De Kalb counties in Georgia employed them in the presidential primary. This system, familiar to Californians, requires voters to punch holes in the cards, which are later fed into a tabulator.

In the 1996 presidential election, some variation of the punch card system was used by 37.3% of registered voters in the United States.

By the numbers

85.9%--Turnout, among registered voters, in Iceland's 1996 presidential election.

66%--Turnout, among registered voters, in the United States' 1996 presidential election.

47.6%--Turnout, among registered voters, in Ireland's 1997 presidential election.

Quote file

"I was just in New York and they have a bumper sticker there that says 'Run Hillary Run.' The Democrats have it on the back and the Republicans have it on the front."

--Lynn Daucher, Orange County Republican candidate for Assembly, at a Sunday rally with Dick Cheney in Costa Mesa.

"Al Gore was talking to his staff the other day and he said, 'Why do people take an instant dislike to me?' And they said, 'Because it saves time.' "

--U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, who represents Imperial and San Diego counties, at the same rally.

Compiled by Massie Ritsch from Times staff and wire reports

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