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Palm Beach Vote Chief Now Independent

May 9, 2001

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ The Palm Beach County election supervisor who was widely criticized for the county’s now infamous ``butterfly ballot″ is dropping her Democratic affiliation.

Theresa LePore said her main reason for changing her voter registration to independent on Monday was to show that her job was nonpartisan. But she added that she didn’t like the way Democrats treated her after November’s presidential race, including gripes that the ballot was confusing and cost Al Gore thousands of votes.

Gore carried the heavily Democratic county in the Nov. 7 election, but some Democrats complained the ballot layout was so confusing they mistakenly voted for Pat Buchanan instead of Gore.

``I think it’s a good thing she became an independent,″ said county Democratic Party executive director Cathy Dubin. ``We have not publicly stated we were against her because she is one of ours, but there are many people in the party still angry.″

LePore joined the Democrats in 1996. She was a registered Republican from 1973 to 1978, when she became an independent.

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