- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 1, 2004

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The county election supervisor whose confusing ballot design contributed to the turmoil of the 2000 presidential election became the butt of late-night talk-show jokes and the target of death threats. Now, she’s lost her job.

Theresa LePore, the inventor of the butterfly ballot that was scrutinized during the presidential recount, lost her re-election bid to remain the Palm Beach County elections supervisor.

With all 692 precincts reporting, challenger Arthur Anderson had 91,134 votes, or 51.6 percent, while Miss LePore drew 85,601 votes, or 48.4 percent.

As the polls closed Tuesday, Miss LePore said that she was too busy overseeing the counting of ballots to think about her own race.

“I just want to win, so I can continue doing the job I love,” Miss LePore said.

Despite the loss, Miss LePore will remain in office until Jan. 3 and will oversee the November election in the county.

LePore spokesman Marty Rogol said that a “media blitz” by Anderson supporters over the last week, including appearances by some out-of-state Democratic heavyweights, was partly responsible for her showing.

Florida Rep. Robert Wexler as well as former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, all Democrats, all stumped for Mr. Anderson, a professor and former county school board member.

Miss LePore, 49, has worked in the elections office for more than three decades, and in the top job since 1996. A Democrat when she ran unopposed in the 2000 election, she was angered by statements that party leaders made during the recount and has since declared herself an independent.

She became the focus of national attention in 2000 after some Palm Beach County voters said that the butterfly ballot, which listed the names of presidential candidates on opposing pages, led them to mistakenly select conservative third-party candidate Pat Buchanan instead of Democrat Al Gore.

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