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Friday, October 10, 2008

Barack 'Osama' on Rensselaer County ballots

Breaking News National News!!!

Rensselaer County is becoming famous for a ballot printing error which is making national news from the Drudge Report, CBS Evening News, The Smoking Gun and other national news organizations.

The error might best be described as a mental rather than a typographical error. On one set of the 13 sets of ballots produced by the local Board of Elections, some 300 ballots were mailed out with a spelling error on Presidential candidate Barack Obama's last name. The "b" in bama was replaced with an "s" making the name read Osama. Barack Osama.

The error was on just the Democratic line on the paper ballots and was not repeated below on the Working Families line which is Row E.

Election officials apologized for the mistake and are obviously embarrassed. But think how easy it is to make such a mistake. Your mind works faster than your eye and when you see the letter "O", words are quickly formed in your head, words which are very familiar. In this case the word Osama came into someones head and that's what thew mind told the hand to type. Unfortunately in just one case, no one caught it, no one on the staff of the board which employs Democrats and Republicans, all of whom take responsibility because all try to be fair.

Flubs have been common on the presidential campaign as evidenced by this week's introduction of the next VP of the US , "John McCain, by one volunteer at an Obama rally. That clip has been all over Hardball and You Tube.

Florida had its "chads" and Rensselaer County has its "Osama". Locally we were reminded that it could have been worse. Had State Senate candidate Roy McDonald been flubbed with a "n" instead of a "y", we would have had a Ron McDonald. Burgers up!

Here is a link to the Times Union Story
Here is a link to the Minneapolis Star Tribune
Here is a link to the NY Times
Here is a link to the Washington Times
Here is a link to WTOP News
Here is a link to WTOV News

Finally, here is a link to a Florida news outlet which reports that Volusa County printed ballots spelling his first name wrong and they beat us by printing 2000 ballots instead of our meager 300.

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