- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 5, 2001

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The call from a Democratic state legislator last week to investigate Palm Beach County Election Supervisor Theresa LePore elicited a poignant comment from Miss LePore: "I wish it would go away, but I know it won't."

The lawmaker, Rep. Irv Slosberg, charged that Miss LePore's now-infamous "butterfly ballot" and malfunctioning voting machines violated state election law and might have swung the presidential race to George W. Bush.

The relentless infamy suffered by Miss LePore, though, is hardly shared by the two other members of the Palm Beach County Election Canvassing Board. Both Judge Charles Burton and Carol Roberts have enjoyed the fame that three weeks of national media attention brings.

Mr. Burton, an affable county court judge, has a stack of newspaper clips on his office desk, recent ones, that still mention the ballot recounts. One entire bookshelf is taken up by eight binders full of letters, e-mails and other mementos of the post-election rumble.

Public life is very kind to him, he says. The judge still fields constant offers to speak to civic groups; jurors in his courtroom frequently remark on his national profile; and he still manages to come off as humble.

"All of the correspondence I received was positive," Judge Burton says. "I got letters and e-mails from all over the country."

Children stop him in restaurants to ask for his autograph. He fields suggestions from everyone who felt he should cash in on his adroit handling of the spotlight.

"They said, 'Do a book, do a television show, run for Congress.'"

He shrugs.

"I'm happy with my courtroom."

For Miss Roberts, the attention was a mixed bag. The unabashed Democrat received death threats. Her listed phone number of 30 years had to be changed after irate callers besieged her.

"At the same time, there were many people who were very nice," says Miss Roberts, a county commissioner and mother of six grown children.

She was vacationing in Italy with her family in April and people greeted her with recognition and open arms.

"I was in the Bahamas and someone asked me, 'Aren't you Katherine Harris?'" Miss Roberts recalls. Being mistaken for the state's Republican secretary of state was both ironic and amusing to her.

"I said 'No, I'm her nemesis.'"


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