Over the weekend, while listening to talk radio, Mr. Bear and I heard this story from Illinois and could not stop laughing over the irony.
The last name of Rich Whitney, Illinois Green Party gubernatorial candidate, was misspelled on electronic-voting machines in two dozen wards, as “Whitey.” This error was made in 23 total wards, half of which are predominately African-American areas. Election officials said on Wednesday, that it was unlikely that the error would be corrected before election day.
Anyone want to vote another Rich Whitey into office?
Rich Whitney is none-to-impressed with the irony of the mistake and is considering a legal response to the snafu:
I don’t want to be identified as ‘Whitey.’ If this is happening in primarily African-American wards, that’s an even bigger concern, Whitney told the Chicago Sun-Times. I don’t know if this is machine politics at play or why this happened.
Conspiracy or innocent error? While highly suspicious, it is still unclear if “the error” was intentional. Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections, said there is not adequate time to reprogram and test machines before Nov. 2. According to Allen, about 90 percent of the ballots cast that day will be on paper ballots, where Whitney’s name is spelled properly.
Personally, I believe it is unacceptable to have such an error be made on the ballot, especially with the implications behind the misspellings. It should not be so difficult to make a correction, given the fact that elections are still two weeks away.
What do you think? Would the error have an impact on how you voted? Do you think this will have any implications for a fair election? Are election officials doing enough to promote fair elections? Is the damage already done?