The idea for a novel came to me during the 2000 presidential election. The election was too close to call and a Florida recount took place.
I remember television coverage of election workers staring at computer punch cards. They were looking for holes in the cards to indicate who that voter chose for president. These election workers found that on some cards the punch-out chads were half in and half out of the hole. On other cards, there was a dimple on the chad, as if someone tried to vote for that candidate but the chad didn’t release. There was considerable controversy over how to determine the intent of the voter. In the case of the 2000 election, which occurred on November 7, a winner wasn’t announced until December 12th, and then only after the United States Supreme Court was involved.
With the Presidential election on the line, I thought this would be a neat premise for a thriller. What if someone could purposely create confusion around an election or even manipulate it so their candidate would win?
While I made a very brief start a few years after that, I never followed through on the idea until 2020. In the summer of 2020, I was approaching retirement and I wondered if my idea would still be relevant. I decided the topic probably would be out of mind for most people so such a novel might be difficult for people to relate to. Then, after the 2020 election, the topic of election integrity was red hot again!
In February of 2021, I sat down and began to write.