Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Collectible political memorabilia is everywhere this week, but we just read an AP story about a unique buy from the 2000 election. Remember hanging chads? When the 1,200 Votomatic III voting machines used that year in Palm Beach County were junked and sold, Florida political consultant Jim Dobyns bought a warehouse-full offered on eBay for $12,000. The machines are collapsible and can fold to briefcase-size, so he's selling them online and through his website (JimDobyns.com) for $75 each plus shipping. Presidential libraries, politicians (mostly Democrats), teachers, and of course political memorabilia collectors bought them.

Each machine is a piece of history. Dobyns has only about 60 left, but six months ago he thought about the chads still inside each machine. He and his wife are now selling the chads on eBay. For $20, you can buy 10 chads in a little plastic bag. You'll also get a certificate of authenticity.
So wait till Nov. 4 and see if there is a "hanging chad of 2008" that could be sold in a few years. And save your signs, pins, and other political stuff for future collectors.

We were doing our television show when Richard Nixon was president. Cesar Chavez was boycotting lettuce growers in California, trying to get his United Farm Workers Union rather than the Teamsters recognized as leading the fight to get rights for migrant workers. It was an issue at the 1972 Democratic convention. An angry lettuce grower had special boxes made to support Nixon and the Republicans in the election and to protest Chavez's boycott. We got one of those boxes and showed it on our program as an example of a rare political collectible. We have no idea what this mint box would be worth today--we have never seen one sold. But who knew hanging chads would be worth $2 each?


Anonymous said...

I have a "Socks the White House Cat" from the Clinton years, still in the box. I'm only holding onto it in case it's worth something someday.

The other day someone gave me a button that says "Read My Lipstick: McCain/Palin 2008". This ought to be good for at least a smile in about oh, 20 or 30 years.

Anonymous said...

I have a very old cookie jar of a hen, when you lift the lid there is a metal mechanism inside that makes a chirp sound..no markings..what and who made this?

Anonymous said...

Since the "hanging" chads, by definition, remained attached to the ballot, what is left inside the machine must be the "un-hanging" chads. Real "hanging" chads, especially if still attached to a ballot, must be worth far more.

Catherine L. Thompson said...

I have a box full of the "I voted 2000" stickers, and another box full of the little metal thingies used to poke the chads- wonder if they're worth anything?