Once the error was pointed out, new ballots were sent out to the approximately 300 people who received the bad ballots, and the rest of the old ballots were shredded. Voters can send in either ballot and the vote will be counted. The error appeared on only 1 of 13 ballot version for that county.
The two commissioners in charge of the elections released statements:
Edward McDonough, the Democratic commissioner said, “No question this is an honest mistake innocently done. We catch almost everything.” He later told the Associated Press, “It’s human error, it’s very unfortunate, it’s an embarrassment to our office, obviously. We wish we could turn back the clock, but we can’t.”
Republican Commissioner Larry Bugbee said, “This was a typo. We have three different staff members who proof these things and somehow the typo got by us.”
One voter, who was interviewed by the Times Union (who broke the story of the typo), said, “It’s a little suspicious and at least grossly incompetent. If I crossed out the name and wrote in the right spelling my ballot would be invalid.” I’m not sure how valid that claim is, but it’s very well possible.
And I was thinking, how on earth did this happen? I could understand “Ovama” or even “Ogama” or even “Onama,” but “Osama” is typed completely differently. Part of me wonders if this wasn’t a bitter Clinton supporter with a Republican who said, “I’ll look away.”
Either way, it’s somewhat funny, but somewhat sad that a team of public officials could be that incompetent. I doubt anything serious will come out of this, but if anything else does develop, I’ll keep you updated.
Tags: 2008 Election, Absentee Ballot, Ballot, Barack Obama, Candidate, Commissioner, Democrat, Democrats, Edward McDonough, Election, General Election, Hillary Clinton, Larry Bugbee, New York, Politics, Rensselaer County