The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday August 13th

Election Updates Enthrall Locals

The sight of a few bleary-eyed political junkies stumbling to class or wandering along Franklin Street is not uncommon after most elections.

But this time around, more folks than usual have been transfixed by the ups and downs of the yet-to-be-decided presidential race.

On Thursday afternoon, students filled the seats circling the big-screen television in the Student Union to watch as Florida counties reported recount results.

Sophomore political science major Scott Crew said he stopped when he saw people gathered around the television.

"I thought something big had happened," Crew said. "I thought they had just announced (the election) or someone had been assassinated, but it was the exact same thing as the last time I checked."

But he said not all people are so interested in the delayed results. "Most of my friends could care less."

Other students are making sacrifices to stay updated. "I've been watching (the news) constantly," said Angela Farag, a senior public policy major. "I'm supposed to be in the library because I have schoolwork to do. I'm going to be clicking to the Internet while I'm trying to write my paper."

But some members of the community found a way to mix their desires to watch the political drama unfold and to maintain their social lives.

Tricia McGovern, an employee of Spanky's Restaurant at 101 E. Franklin St., said interested patrons had been packing the restaurant. "Everybody that comes in has made comments about it, asking to make sure the station is on so they could watch." McGovern said the overwhelming sentiment had been in favor of Vice President Al Gore.

People also filled Linda's Bar and Grill, located at 203 E. Franklin St., crowding around tables and TV sets to watch the recount results trickle in.

Medical student Andrew Moore and his friends engaged in heated debate about the race. "I can't believe it's coming down to 362 votes, even though Gore is winning the popular vote by more than 200,000," he said. "I think we'll see `Dubya' taking office, but regardless of who wins, I think they will only be in there for one term."

Despite divided opinions on the results, many said the race was especially compelling. Farag said she hasn't been able to tear herself away from the coverage. "It's like watching history unfold."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.


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