The Florida county that brought us the hanging chad 12 years ago is in the midst of yet another electoral mess — and the presidential election is still nearly two weeks away.
The problem this time: 27,000 filled-out absentee ballots in Palm Beach County that were misprinted and cannot be read by tabulation machines. County officials are having the results from all those ballots copied onto properly laid-out ballots, with representatives from both the Obama and Romney campaigns present.
While Florida’s entire electoral system wound up under the microscope in Bush v. Gore, one of the most notorious aspects of the 2000 meltdown was the county’s “butterfly ballot,” which had two facing pages of presidential candidates pointing to a single column of punch-card holes. Palm Beach County voters improperly punched as many as 29,000 ballots, while many Al Gore supporters said they had accidentally voted for third party candidate Pat Buchanan.