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: 2000

Referenced: ElectionsRelated Event: Presidential Campaign of 2000


See more items in: Political and Military History: Political History, Campaign Collection, Government, Politics, and Reform, Souvenir Nation, American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith

Exhibition: American Democracy

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Credit Line: Robert A. Rosenberg

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2001.0092.03Accession Number: 2001.0092Catalog Number: 2001.0092.03

Object Name: magnifying glass

Physical Description: black (overall color)glass (overall material)colorless (overall color)plastic (overall material)Measurements: overall: 9 in x 4 1/2 in; 22.86 cm x 11.43 cm


Record Id: nmah_694858

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