Articles written for the website of Time Magazine but NOT published!


Pregnant Chad!
by Martin Lewis
(Written November 11, 2000)

Watching all the news reports, press conferences and briefings by election commission officials - there are so many new words and expressions to learn. Here are some of the new ones which have emerged in the last few days:

Butterfly ballot - A ballot paper so complicated than only a child can understand it

Chad - The piece of ballot card displaced by the pressing of a lever. But to displace it fully - the voter has to be able to bench-press over 250 (ounces)

Hanging chads - A chad that has not been fully punched through. The ballot equivalent of a hangnail.

Light-Test - The holding up of a ballot card to see how much light shines through the chad hole. In Florida the light may be switched on by using "The Clapper."

Sunlight Rule - The rule applied to determine the Light-Test. To keep it non-partisan the Sunlight Test is held in a room with absolutely no sunlight.

The Single Detached Chad Corner Test - It all depends on whether the chad is dimpled or detached.

Hanging Chad - 3 corners detached. The chad is hanging on by a chad thread

Swinging Door Chad - Two corners detached. This chad swings both ways.

Tri-Chad - Only one corner perforated. But it's the 'tort' that counts...

Pregnant Chad - In the words of the Palm Beach County Attorney: "It's a little bit out - but not all the way through" Like being slightly pregnant.

Dimpled Chad - A really cute African girl...

Over-vote - The act of wanting a new president so badly that one votes for two candidates.

Under-vote - A reaction to having ten presidential candidates to choose from. Formerly known as "None of the above"

Ballot-cam - The Florida election commission's constant feed camera in the room where hand counts are taking place. Pretty much like watching the nation's dirty laundry revolving in a washing machine.

Spotty - The name of George W. Bush's cocker spaniel in attendance at informal press conferences. NOT the name of the infected teenage boil under the giant Band-Aid on Dubya's face.


Return to Columns Index

Martin Lewis Home Page



Copyright © 2000, Martin Lewis