Election Night
  A Clear Winner
  Manual Tabulation
  Gore's Messages
  The False Call
  The Conspiracy
Palm Beach County
(Butterfly Ballot)
     Part 1
     Part 2
     Part 3
     Part 4
     Part 5
     Part 6
     Part 7
   Part 8
  "Recount" Study
  The Basics
  HBO Recount - The Movie
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Palm Beach County - Part 8

The hysteria surrounding Palm Beach County is more interesting when one considers that Al Gore never challenged the ballot design.  He never pursued legal recourse on that basis, and probably for good reason.  It had no merit.  If he had, it likely would not have helped that it was designed by a Democrat (Teresa Lepore) and was sent to both parties prior to the election.  It was also mailed to 655,000 registered voters prior to the election and appeared in local newspapers cite.  The butterfly ballot itself was never debated in a court room and thus was never determined to be illegal.  (Much later in the disruption, David Boise, on behalf of Gore, concentrated on the integrity of the voting devices all together, arguing that voters are victims of flawed systems.)

None the less, people were indeed not happy with the ballot layout.  But why?  Was it indiscernible?  Was the ballot too difficult to figure out? 

I would like to suggest that people went into the booth with a pre-conceived notion as to the layout of the ballot.  When they viewed the ballot it did not conform to their pre-conceived mental picture.  This might have caused a nominal unsettling feeling as one's brain attempted to understand the ballot design.  After a few seconds, however, I am confident it became clear and simple to vote for any candidate.  Beyond the initial disorientation, it is simply hard to believe the ballot was too difficult to understand.  I don't buy it.  However, some people still left the voting booth with an unsettling feeling, carrying with them the elevated emotions of a large election.

Democrat operatives then picked up the ball, telling citizens their votes were in jeopardy.  As a result, a furor of hysteria developed, laying the foundation that Gore needed to propel his quest for manual recounting.