ELECTIONS: The College

Rumpled Henry Wallace took his place at the Speaker's stand, tapped the gavel solemnly. The white clock in the House chamber stood at 1:01 p.m.; the U.S. Congress was assembled in joint session. But what Congress had to do was of no importance to anyone. It was going to count the Electoral College ballots for President and Vice President of the U.S.

Two page boys were the most impressed participants in the entire assembly. Faces aglow with soap and solemnity, they had brought up two rich brown, mahogany boxes containing the ballots. A bipartisan committee from both houses tallied the...

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