The Democratic woman who designed the ballot (Theresa LePore) was defending the ballot's layout yesterday. The so-called "butterfly ballot" was chosen to fit all of the names on the ballot. Because of the large elderly population in Palm Beach County, the text was made large as to fulfill the "size and style of type as plain and clear as the ballot spaces reasonably permit" part of the law. It was decided the butterfly ballot would be the best way to accomplish this.

The ballot is not uncommon across the country. Practically identical ballots are in use in [Vice President Al Gore's campaign chairman] William Daley's own Cook County, Illinois.

Also of note is that copies of the ballot were widely distributed days before the election, and the layout was not challenged or questioned. Staff were on hand at each polling place for those confused with the ballot's layout. I feel a legal challenge to the ballot would have little chance of success, especially considering the relatively large number of Reform Party members in Palm Beach County.

Though I have some experience working for a county judge, I am also not a lawyer, so take my predictions for what they are worth.