Magnifying Glass, 2000

The presidential contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore came down to Florida in November 2000. A confusing ballot design and incomplete punch marks hampered the recount effort, which ground into late November until halted by the Supreme Court.
In Broward County, teams of counters examined each ballot, forwarding cards in need of interpretation to Judge Robert A. Rosenberg. A famous photograph shows Rosenberg peering through a magnifying glass at a ballot and the “chads” (paper fragments) dangling from incomplete punch marks. This is one of two magnifying glasses that Rosenberg used and kept as souvenirs of the recount, together with a bag of “authentic chads.”
Gift of Robert A. Rosenberg, 2001–2004
date made
Physical Description
black (overall color)
glass (overall material)
colorless (overall color)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 9 in x 4 1/2 in; 22.86 cm x 11.43 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Robert A. Rosenberg
related event
Presidential Campaign of 2000
See more items in
Political History: Political History, Campaign Collection
Souvenir Nation
Government, Politics, and Reform
American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History