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Friday, October 10, 2008

Excuse Me?

posted by on October 10 at 15:40 PM

From the A.P.:

The absentee ballots sent to voters in Rensselaer County identified the two presidential candidates as “Barack Osama” and “John McCain.”

The article goes on to helpfully point out:

In the United States, the best-known individual named Osama is Osama bin Laden, leader of the al Qaida terrorist group behind the 2001 attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City.

Wow. Is this on purpose or not?

(Thanks to various Slog Tippers including Tracy and Jeremy.)

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Ha. If this was on purpose, New York state would be the MOST idiotic place to try it. Go for somewhere where it could actually change the outcome next time!

Posted by leek | October 10, 2008 3:42 PM

Zero percent chance that's an innocent mistake, and it should take about an hour tops to find the fucker who did it. He should be fired and prosecuted under Federal statutes for fucking with an election.

Fortunately, NY is not in doubt.

Posted by Fnarf | October 10, 2008 3:43 PM



Posted by JJ | October 10, 2008 3:45 PM

Yeah, the 's' and the 'b' keys are not exactly close on a keyboard. I'd say that was intentional. And I bet there's going to be more of that.

Posted by spencer | October 10, 2008 3:46 PM

I blame John McVeigh... I mean McCain. Shit, I'm always doing that.

Posted by Dougsf | October 10, 2008 3:46 PM

They also said in the article that this made it through ... THREE ... rounds of proofreaders. That's the most head-slapping part of the whole shebang.

Posted by Billy Nilly | October 10, 2008 3:49 PM

I predict new levels of desperation in this year's round of election fraud. Fnarf's right, the chances of this being an innocent mistake are nil.

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 10, 2008 3:50 PM

mebbe innocent mebbe not

this county is across the hudson river from Albany and is part of the Albany Schenectady Troy area, probably a more D area. it's more educated, higher income than the average rural NY areas.

the bd of elections has two commissioners one D one R and the staff is equally divided.

many folks including pro Obama pols and news folks have made the same mistake.....

Posted by PC | October 10, 2008 4:03 PM

Why would you risk your job just so Obama can win all of NY's electoral votes by a slightly smaller majority?

Posted by elenchos | October 10, 2008 4:05 PM

Protest vote indeed. Well played, soon-to-be-fired-and-prosecuted county elections official!

Posted by Greg | October 10, 2008 4:12 PM

Has anyone seen any kind of typo or misspelling on a ballot? I don't think I ever have, which is kind of astounding in itself, but definitely speaks against this being a mistake.

Posted by keshmeshi | October 10, 2008 4:13 PM

I agree with most of the other commenters. If this had happened in a swing state, it might be evidence of "The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy." As it is, any idiots who vote according to that aren't going to change anything.

Posted by Seajay | October 10, 2008 4:15 PM

Typo. I know I've been guilty of some bizarre ones in the past. But there's not excuse for making any document to do with this election without first doing a find and replace of Osama-->Obama.

Posted by Sean | October 10, 2008 4:39 PM

Does that ballot also list John McCain twice?!?! "Independence electors for John McCain"

Posted by bob | October 10, 2008 5:01 PM


That's normal in New York state. Candidates can be listed under any number of different parties. In 2000, Hillary was listed under the Democratic Party and the Working Families Party. Only one vote per candidate is counted, no matter how many times they appear on the ballot.

Posted by keshmeshi | October 10, 2008 5:23 PM

Totally intentional.

But they'll pretend it was a mistake.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 10, 2008 5:34 PM

Mixup? B.S.

Posted by Jake | October 10, 2008 5:49 PM

I'm going to go with purposeful -- but not an attempt to sway anyone.

This has the hallmarks of an internal joke that's correction was overlooked before deadline.

Posted by Sven | October 11, 2008 4:07 PM

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