Vote debated on State House steps

By Rick Klein, Globe Staff, 11/19/2000

rotesters with a broad range of political opinions took to the Massachusetts State House steps yesterday in a lively display of election-related passions.

Supporters of Vice President Al Gore dominated the afternoon, but messages diverged. Talk of hand counts and recounts in Florida was sometimes overwhelmed by calls for massive election overhauls.

''I'd like to see a revote in Florida,'' said Arash Sangha, 20, a Boston University junior. ''But this all stems from the Electoral College.''

Chads got less attention than the ballot design in Palm Beach County. Faulty ballots, protesters argued, necessitate another round of voting.

''It didn't look anything like the sample ballot I got in the mail,'' said Karilee Shames, a Boca Raton, Fla., resident who was in Boston for a conference. Shames, who said she is a plaintiff in a class-action suit asking for a revote in Palm Beach County, spoke to a crowd of 60 or so protesters beneath the brilliant golden State House dome.

About a dozen supporters of Texas Governor George W. Bush were at the same spot yesterday. They were outnumbered perhaps five to one, but some held signs and engaged in spirited debates with Gore backers.