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Amazon.com lets you test Florida butterfly ballot

Would Gran get it right?

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E-tail giant Amazon has designed an amusing Web page enabling surfers to determine whether their hand/eye coordination would be up to the challenge of getting Palm Beach County's controversial butterfly ballot right, albeit using a mouse instead of a hole-punch.

Amazon's joke ballot carefully recapitulates the PBC ballot's layout, substituting Amazon merchandise categories for political candidates. In the centre is the same vertically-aligned selection mechanism, with active links.

All one needs to do is choose a category, select the corresponding link, and check to see if they end up on the page they wanted. One can easily imagine an elderly person with Coke-bottle specs and a bit of a palsy shake having some trouble with the set-up, as alleged by Florida Democrats.

The page is the work of Amazon's Web development team, which apparently contains one or two loyal Democrats. While not exactly officially sanctioned, Amazon management intends to leave it in place. "It lends itself to a whimsical treatment of the ballot confusion," the company told us. ®

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