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Ballot-carrying truck being auctioned on Yahoo

The Ryder truck that briefly symbolized the presidential election morass when it was used to deliver 462,644 presidential ballots in Florida is being auctioned on Yahoo.

The Ryder rental truck that briefly symbolized the presidential election morass when it was used to deliver 462,644 presidential ballots in Florida is being auctioned on Yahoo.

Budget Group, the parent company of Ryder TRS, will donate the proceeds to the Red Cross. The truck is already commanding quite a premium: As of Monday morning, bidding had reached $40,500. The auction began Dec. 5 and will end at midnight Dec. 14.

"We received an inordinate number of calls, inquiries and emails from the general public, from our renters, from the employees wanting to know what we were going to do with the truck," said Allison Striegel, a spokeswoman for Budget Group. "Would we sell it? Would we put it in a museum?"

The Ryder truck's journey, accompanied by a 15-car motorcade and two Palm Beach County sheriff's cars, was broadcast across the nation during the ongoing presidential election news coverage.

Budget Group said it opted to list the item on Yahoo over eBay because of a marketing agreement it already holds with Yahoo.

Yahoo Auctions brand manager Rich Godwin acknowledged that high-profile auctions are publicity for the company.

"What this type of auction does is push us out into the broader audience, and people think, 'Oh, yeah, Yahoo auctions, they have some neat stuff,'" Godwin said. "If you're a collector or an avid buyer you're already checking all the auctions every day."

Godwin said Yahoo Auctions hosts other high-profile items, including a walk-on part on the TV show "Will and Grace" and a day at Yankee Stadium with Joe Torre, manager of the New York Yankees.

Internet auctions have hosted the sale of everything from celebrity cars to apartment rentals in the tight San Francisco Bay Area housing market.

Want election news? Get it here In February 1999, Yahoo hosted the auction of O.J. Simpson's 1968 Heisman Trophy, his No. 32 football jerseys from the Buffalo Bills, autographed photos, furniture, decorative arts and paintings.

The items were sold by order of a California court with proceeds to be paid to the Brown and Goldman families, relatives of Simpson's slain wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend Ron Goldman. Simpson was acquitted of their murders in a sensational 1995 criminal trial.