As high school students four years ago today, we had yet to witness a concession speech for the Presidency of the United States of America. We did not know how long it would be until our next president would be declared. The events were unprecedented, and everyone who lived through them will always remember the 2000 Election.Little did we know that four years later we would be experiencing djOe vu. While Bush has been declared the informal winner by many national news sources-and has received the majority of the popular vote-absentee ballots and provisional ballots still must be counted. Both the Democrats and Republicans will be sending in scores of lawyers to challenge whatever results are tallied.

Election Day turned out to be nothing but a tease, despite the months of anticipation leading up to this day. Bush supporters cannot celebrate a victory because the decision is very much in danger of being repealed. Kerry followers can only hope for a miracle in the form of a few thousand ballots which have the chance to be counted in favor of the Democrats. We all feel almost cheated out of a decision, yet all we can do is wait-again.

Why has it become a trend for elections in America to be decided by a court and not the people? Is this all we can expect from our democracy? To find ourselves in virtually the same quagmire as four years ago is testament to the abysmal election process we currently practice.

As American citizens, we are taught that every vote counts, yet we cannot help but wonder exactly what this means. It seems as if a vote from Ohio or Florida holds more clout than a vote from every other state in this nation.

Once again, lawyers and courtrooms will be deciding who will lead this country for four years rather than the citizens. Legal battles will replace acceptance speeches and partisan arguments will quench any hope for unity.

It will be a daunting task for whoever ultimately is awarded this election-either through the votes of the people or through savvy lawyers-to mend the deep wounds of this country. People are disillusioned about their political and legal system. Citizens are made to feel that their votes don't matter-that they are disenfranchised. The next president will be faced with now eight years worth of anger and frustration. This country is so heart-wrenchingly divided, so ideologically separated, that it is difficult to imagine progress in any direction.