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Dimpled Chad Day ©

🗓️ January 4

🌐 Everywhere

Somewhere between 2000 and 2015

Created by
Ruth & Thomas Roy
(Wellcat Holidays)

Dimpled chads are NOT hunky men with dimpled cheeks.
Also, dimpled chads are NOT dandies in tight clothing.

Chad is the term used for little paper pieces left when you punch a hole in a card, like when voting. The word’s origin lies with the Middle English word ‘chad’, which means “to chafe” or “waste.” In the 19th century, a chad was the small paper disc that was removed from a piece of paper after punching a hole in it. In modern day usage, a chad is the tiny scrap of paper that remains around a punch-hole after a card or paper has been punched.
The exact origin of the word is unknown, but it has been around since the 1930s. If the chad was not punched all the way through, a faint indentation was left on the card. That indentation was called a ‘dimpled chad’ Different terms are used to describe the state of the chad – for example, “hanging” or “pregnant”.

To the uninitiated, it may seem quite trivial, and you could be forgiven for wondering why people are getting so worked up over something that looks like a tiny pastry decoration.
But the importance of a dimpled chad was highlighted in the 2000 US presidential election when the Florida recount centered on whether disputed ballots contained these pores of power.
Some Florida voting ballots had chads that were punched and only had a tear or dimple, not completely removing it from the page. Some felt it should count as a valid vote while others felt it should not.
Depending which side of the political divide you were on, a dimpled chad became either a cornerstone of democracy or an example of the arbitrary nature of politics.
Whatever your view, few would argue this small slice of plastic coated paper didn’t have a huge impact on the history books.
In the end, the entire country was left with a dimple on their heart as the results were hotly contested and won by the courts, not the voting booth.
It serves as a reminder of the power of one’s vote and the importance of exercising that power.

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