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N.C. Electors Cast Their 14 Votes For Bush

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RALEIGH — America's Electoral College went to work Monday ratifying George W. Bush as the nation's 43rd president. North Carolina's 14 electors met at the old Capitol building to vote and make a little history.

"A year ago, most Americans probably did not know much about the Electoral College, or how it worked. Thanks to the past five weeks, we're all experts," says Elaine Marshall, Secretary of State.

Linda Whitener was an alternate who got the call Friday night that she needed to fill-in for an absent elector.

"This is the dream. This is the call you want to get, and it is my turn," she says.

Governor Hunt told the packed room that this election was a powerful lesson.

"In future elections, the people of America and North Carolina will know that every vote counts," he says.

"It is my honor to nominate George W. Bush to be the president, the 43rd president, of the United States of America," says elector Sam Currin.

The ballots were passed out, signed and counted. There were no surprises as 14 votes went for Bush, bringing the long-awaited end to Election 2000.

"I think the whole country is having a sigh of relief that we've finally come to a decision," says elector Fran Barnhart.

Unlike some states, in North Carolina, it is illegal for electors to change their vote. Even so, they were bombarded with e-mail and calls asking them to vote for Vice President Gore. Electors say they simply ignored the requests and proudly cast their votes for Gov. Bush.