Voting FAQ

Answers to your questions about the news.
Nov. 13 2000 6:19 PM

Voting FAQ

He's up, he's down, his chad are so pregnant they need to be induced. What's the deal with this election?

Advertisement

What's the origin of the word "chad"?

The word first appeared in 1947, according to Merriam-Webster, to describe the little rectangles of paper that are created when punching holes in data cards or other larger sheets. The etymological origin is unknown. Grammatically speaking there are no "chads" because "chad" is a plural noun.

If it's not a really close election, do officials bother to count absentee ballots?

Yes, but it takes a while. The reason absentee ballots are not counted by Election Day is that state election officials have to check the names on the envelopes of the mailed ballots against voter registration lists to make sure people haven't voted twice.

When is an election officially over?

When the results are certified, in most states by the secretary of state's office. It takes days or weeks for the results from all counties and absentee ballots to go to the office so a certificate of election can be issued. In most cases this is just a technicality because the results are so clear that the winners celebrate and the losers concede.

Who won the Oregon presidential election?

Al Gore, according to The Associated Press. The state, which has the first all mail-in presidential vote, won't certify until Nov. 27. Officials say it wasn't any glitches in the system that delayed declaring even the unofficial winner, it was the closeness of the race. Gore is leading by about 5,600 votes. Oregon has an automatic recount if the difference between the two top vote getters is less than two-tenths of 1 percent of the total votes cast. In this case, a recount would be triggered if the margin were 2,800 votes or less, so a Gore win looks assured.

How many different ways are there to cast a vote?

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Do the Celebrities Whose Nude Photos Were Stolen Have a Case Against Apple?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

Scotland Is Inspiring Secessionists Across America

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 3:19 PM In Defense of Congress Leaving Town Without a New War Vote
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 18 2014 3:31 PM What Europe Would Look Like If All the Separatist Movements Got Their Way
  Life
Outward
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 3:30 PM How Crisis Pregnancy Centers Trick Women
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Culturebox
Sept. 18 2014 4:00 PM When The Cosby Show Got “Very Special” Why were The Cosby Show’s Very Special Episodes so much better than every other ’80s sitcom’s?
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 4:26 PM Global Oceans Break All-Time Heat Record; World on Pace for Warmest Year Ever
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.