This is the name the media have given to the messed up ballots that were used in Palm Beach County, FL during the year 2000 election between Al Gore and George W. Bush. The ballot had 10 presidential candidates on alternate sides of the column where you selected them with a hole punch. Much confusion resulted from this arrangement, and many votes went to Pat Buchanan that were meant for Al Gore. This was a major issue in the days shortly after the election, becuase the entire country was waiting on Florida, which had a margin of only about 300 votes between the two leading candidates.

It went something like this (I left out the small print):

===================================================
                        | |
------------------------| |
      (REPUBLICAN)      | |
GEORGE W. BUSH      ==> |o|------------------------
DICK CHENEY             | |       (REFORM)
------------------------|o| <==        PAT BUCHANAN
      (DEMOCRATIC)      | |            EZOLA FOSTER
AL GORE             ==> |o|------------------------
JOE LIEBERMAN           | |      (SOCIALIST)
------------------------|o| <==    DAVID McREYNOLDS
      (LIBERTARIAN)     | |         MARY CAL HOLLIS
HARRY BROWNE        ==> |o|------------------------
ART OLIVER              | |     (CONSTITUTION)
------------------------|o| <==     HOWARD PHILLIPS
        (GREEN)         | |       J. CURTIS FRAZIER
RALPH NADER         ==> |o|------------------------
WINONA LaDUKE           | |    (WORKERS WORLD)
------------------------|o| <==    MONICA MOOREHEAD
  (SOCIALIST WORKERS)   | |          GLORIA La RIVA
JAMES HARRIS        ==> |o|------------------------
MARGARET TROWE          | |
------------------------|o|     WRITE IN CANDIDATE
     (NATURAL LAW)      | |
JOHN HAGELIN        ==> |o|------------------------
NAT GOLDHABER           | |
------------------------| |
                        | |
===================================================
I don't buy the confused voter argument. The Gore campaign is blaming the ballots saying that people who intended to vote for Gore accidentily voted for Buchanan. They claim that Buchanan's unusually large number of votes in Palm Beach only proves that many people meant to vote for Gore, and they are using this one incident as an excuse to sabotage the whole process in an attempt to get a favorable outcome. I have three major problems here:
  1. Gore would have us believe that a bunch of election volunteers counting 400,000 ballots by hand will be more accurate than a machine. I bet he is satisfied to let a machine count his money. This is nothing more than a last ditch effort to sway the vote by introducing innacuracies.
  2. Gore would like the tally counters to investigate each ballot that was marked twice or incompletely marked, and attempt to conclude what the voters intent was. This is pure nuttiness. If the ballot was missmarked or incompletly marked, it is invalid, end of story. This type of nonsense sets a precedence that could very well be damaging to the way voting is done in this country. It is not the candidates responsibility to interpret the voters choice.
  3. If the ballots really were so confusing that voters who would have cast for Gore accidentally cast for Buchanan, then you would expect to see the same disparity in votes for McReynolds. McReynolds had the same relative missplacement on the ballot and should have received just as many "Uh-Oh" votes as Buchanan.
Additionally,(okay there were really four) the ballots were approved by members of both parties campaigns well in advance of the election. If there were problems with the ballots, that is when they should have been addressed.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.