When “hanging chad” popped up in the headlines in November of 2000 I assumed, at first, that a hardened criminal named Chad was about to be strung up for murder or some other heinous crime.
But the chad in question wasn’t a convict; it was an innocent circle of paper meant to be punched from ballot cards by Floridians voting in the 2000 presidential election. Sun-baked citizens encountered some difficulty popping those bits of paper free, however: thousands of chads were left “hanging”.
Seniors were to blame, I’ll bet. Retirees make up a higher percentage of Florida’s population than in any other state. Imagine Mildred and Ernest, frail and bent, vision dimmed by cataracts, ballots clutched in arthritic, trembling hands, vainly stabbing at the paper circles. Read the rest of this entry »