The final chapter in this year’s presidential race was written today as 538 electors around the country cast ballots for president. Iowa’s seven electoral votes were officially cast for Al Gore shortly after 11 o’clock. Governor Tom Vilsack handed out the official, legal-sized ballots for the electors to sign with a pen, and joked that there were no “hanging chad” issues that way. One elector, Lloyd Otte, couldn’t make the trip from Decorah, so Angie King of Des Moines was elected as a substitute by the six who DID make it to Des Moines. King is the former president of the Iowa State Education Association, Iowa’s largest teachers’ union. Elector David Tingwald of Iowa City said he was like most folks, he’s glad it’s over.John O’Brien of Sioux Center used his experience as an elector to teach students in his high school government classes. And history may have been made in Iowa as Ernest Ricehill of Sioux City believes he’s the first Native American to be an elector IN IOWA. Less than one percent of Iowans are Native Americans.
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