To the amazement of her critics, Theresa LePore is still Palm Beach County's Supervisor of Elections. Four years ago she was at the eye of a political hurricane — the Florida presidential recount — where “butterfly ballots” and “hanging chads” became part of a national spectacle and turned her into a symbol of election chaos.
To this day, some Democrats say LePore cost Al Gore thousands of votes and blame her — a former Democrat who now has no party affiliation — of putting George Bush in the White House.
"I had a horrible voice mail message from somebody about how I've got the blood of over 500 American men and women on my hands because the war is my fault," says LePore.
But she has never been a quitter, she says, and proved that this week when she filed for re-election, raising an obvious question — after all she’s been through, why? “I get that a lot. I like my job. I love my job," says LePore.
She's determined to prove that she and Palm Beach County can get it right this November with high-tech, touch-screen voting and countless hours of voter education.
Critics, though, say touch screens have their own problems, including the absence of a paper record making manual recounts impossible. "No computer is infallible and we're asking simply that there be a paper trail… Ms. Lepore, unfortunately, puts total faith in these machines,” says Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla. Wexler, a former friend, has even sued LePore to require a paper record of each vote.
So is LePore confident these machines are going to work? “Yes, they've been thoroughly tested,” she says.
Despite all her hard work, even LePore concedes as long as humans are involved in elections there's no guarantee everything will go smoothly.
LePore has just one wish for this fall's presidential election. She says she doesn't care who wins, but she hopes that whoever prevails in Palm Beach County does so by a large margin. Because she knows, if there is another recount, the cameras will be back and she will be under the national magnifying glass — again.