We show that the butterfly ballot used in Palm Beach County, Florida, in the 2000 presidential election caused more than 2,000 Democratic voters to vote by mistake for Reform candidate Pat Buchanan, a number larger than George W. Bush’s certified margin of victory in Florida. We use multiple methods and several kinds of data to rule out alternative explanations for the votes Buchanan received in Palm Beach County. Among 3,053 U.S. counties where Buchanan was on the ballot, Palm Beach County has the most anomalous excess of votes for him. In Palm Beach County, Buchanan’s proportion of the vote on election-day ballots is four times larger than his proportion on absentee (nonbutterfly) ballots, but Buchanan’s proportion does not differ significantly between election-day and absentee ballots in any other Florida county. Unlike other Reform candidates in Palm Beach County, Buchanan tended to receive election-day votes in Democratic precincts and from individuals who voted for the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate. Robust estimation of overdispersed binomial regression models underpins much of the analysis.
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