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October 24, 2010

NYC Ballots Say "Mark Oval Above Name" But Actually Count Oval Below Name

With all these extreme and obvious fuckups coming from Boards of Elections around the country, I can only imagine that there's a rule that the max IQ to be on a board or its staff must be around 70.

The latest from New York City:

A vote for Republican Carl Paladino could actually be a vote for Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins – if you follow the directions printed on the November ballot.

In what appears to be yet another “royal screwup,” the city Board of Elections printed a sample ballot that instructs voters to fill the “oval above” a candidate’s name.

The correct oval is actually below each candidate’s name.

The Board of Elections says it will put accurate instructions in each voting booth and distribute cards with a proper sample ballot. On the other hand, why bother:

Neal Rosenstein, voting coordinator for the New York Public Interest Research Group, said the error won’t have a large impact on voters because most don’t even read the instructions.

It amazes me that a broken-down, beat-up, and graffiti-ed ATM can process hundreds of transactions every day with perfect accuracy, but the government can't handle regularly scheduled elections even with months to prepare. Every. Damn. Election.

Democrats will bleat about Voter ID and the "intimidation" they imagine when official poll watchers are present while they futz with people's ballots. In fact, a real challenge to the legitimacy of elections is ballot instructions that fool voters into casting votes for a candidate other than the one they want.

But, of course, Democratic objections to Voter ID and state-authorized poll watchers aren't really about having fair and legitimate elections. They're about boosting Democratic prospects. And if the ballot instructions send GOP votes to the Green Party candidate? Just minimize it: "most people don’t even read the instructions."

Uh huh. How much you want to bet that Republicans are more likely to read the instructions than Democrats or Independents (especially those squirrely Greens). Yeah.

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