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DECISION 2000 / AMERICA WAITS

Democrat Had Chad Snack, Observer Says

November 19, 2000|From Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Just when it seemed the discussion of chads could get no stranger, a Republican observer is accusing a Democrat of eating some of the tiny pieces of ballot paper.

Jim Rowland, a Republican observing the Broward County recount, said about 10 chads were piled on a table after counters had finished a batch of ballots.

"The Democratic floor manager looked at the pile and asked, 'What are these?' " Rowland said.

He said he told the coordinating observer that they were waiting to put the chads into an envelope, and then it happened.

"He licked his finger and put it in the pile. I said, 'Sir! No! Don't do that!' But he put it in his mouth and then he swept the rest up and put some in his pocket," Rowland said.

Rowland did not get the name of the Democratic observer and said he did not report the incident to the canvassing board. He said the observer told him, "Well, they're not the property of the Republican Party."

State Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz denied any Democrats were chad-eaters.

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