You Can Buy Your Very Own Florida Voting Machine From the 2000 Election - Atlas Obscura
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You Can Buy Your Very Own Florida Voting Machine From the 2000 Election

There are a surprising number available on eBay.

A Votomatic machine used in Palm Beach County in the 2000 election.
A Votomatic machine used in Palm Beach County in the 2000 election. eBay user rockinsportsinc

The specimen above is a voting machine—but not just any voting machine. This voting machine was used in Florida, in the 2000 election. More specifically, it comes from Palm Beach County, where Democrats tried to challenge votes cast for Pat Buchanan by arguing that the design of the infamous butterfly ballot confused voters who intended to vote for Al Gore.

This, in other words, is a piece of history. And if you’re willing to spend $2,400 on eBay in the next two days, it could be yours.

It only took a few years for pieces of the 2000 election to go to market. In 2005, as the Associated Press reported years back, Jim Dobyns, a political consultant, bought 1,200 Palm Beach County voting machines and, after renting a few to HBO for Recount, started selling them off. The price for a punch card machine back then was $75, although it later went up to $99, then $250 as the supply ran out, Dobyns told NPR in 2011.

Now, they’re rare enough that this eBay seller thinks this one might be worth much more. The package also includes a signed photograph of the canvassing board who counted the chads, a photo of George W. Bush, a bumper sticker signed by Jeb Bush, and Palm Beach Post papers from the time.

If that’s not convincing but the idea of owning a piece of the 2000 election is enticing, there are cheaper options. One eBay seller was offering a Votomatic used in Marion County, Fla., during the election for $1,400; the seller bought it at auction three years ago and was told this was one of two considered for permanent preservation in the George W. Bush Library. There’s another Palm Beach County machine available for $400. For budget election ephemera, there’s also Votomatic used in Florida’s 2000 election (county not specified) on sale for just $79.99.