WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Theresa LePore was the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections at the time of dangling and dimpled chads and the infamous butterfly ballot.
"Well, I call it my perfect storm where everything just kind of collided there. I remember a lot of good, but I remember a lot of bad and lost a lot of friends during that time. A lot of people had turned on me if you will because they accused me of throwing the election. Actually I was blamed for everything."
Workers were recounting ballots through Thanksgiving. Meanwhile daily protests took place outside the elections office. "A lot of hate mail accusing me of everything imaginable. That was kind of the dark side, a dark period there," she remembered.
LePore started working at the elections office when she was a teenager. By the time voters turned her out in 2004, she had completed 34 years at the office, eight as supervisor.
"People don't realize what is involved with that office, and people think that it's a very easy job and that you only work once every two years. They don't realize that in Palm Beach County specifically we have 38 municipalities. We have elections going on all the time. For a county-wide general election for example, they have to hire and train 5,000 people just to work at the polls."
She says every part of the job requires close attention.
"It's a lot of detail, a lot of paperwork, and you need to make sure that you are a detailed-oriented person, that you are able to read and comprehend the laws and that you are able to work together with your staff to make sure that everything goes as it is supposed to go."
LePore is now volunteering for several non-profit organizations. She also has a consulting firm which provides elections software. The software is used by soldiers overseas who want to cast their vote online.
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