The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - FROM PAGE ONE -

In 2000, Broward and Palm Beach coun­ties each played cen­tral roles in the pres­i­den­tial race be­tween Ge­orge W. Bush and Al Gore.

At the time, both coun­ties used punch card bal­lots — vot­ers poked out chads, leav­ing tiny holes in their bal­lots rep­re­sent­ing their can­di­dates. Some didn’t press hard enough, leav­ing hang­ing or dim­pled chads that had to be ex­am­ined by hand, a long and tire­some process.

But Palm Beach was also the home to the in­fa­mous “but­ter­fly bal­lot” that many Democrats be­lieve cost Gore the elec­tion. The county’s then-elec­tions su­per­vi­sor, Demo­crat Theresa LePore, wanted to make the 10 pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates’ names big­ger on the bal­lot so se­nior cit­i­zens could read them. In­stead of list­ing them in one col­umn, she broke the names into two col­umns. In the left were Bush, Gore and four mi­nor party can­di­dates — six lines in to­tal. On the right were five lines — four mi­nor party can­di­dates and a space for a write-in.

That meant there was no can­di­date op­po­site Bush, but to the right of Gore was the ul­tra-con­ser­va­tive Re­form Party can­di­date Pat Buchanan, who got 3,407 votes in the county — many of them prob­a­bly in­tended for Gore, an­a­lysts said.

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