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Green candidate called 'Whitey' on flawed ballots

October 14, 2010 8:43:36 PM PDT
The name of Green Party candidate for governor Rich Whitney is misspelled on hundreds of early voting machines.

Instead of Whitney, it reads "Whitey."

Whitney is worried the mistake will cost him votes.

"On the one hand, the city of Chicago is a laughing stock, on the other hand, our candidate kind of has been tagged with a name that really isn't nice," said Phil Huckelberry, Illinois Green Party chair

A voter discovered the error on Tuesday while voting at the Logan Square library. He called the board of elections whose commissioner says they have no choice but to reprogram all the voting machines - nearly 5,000 of them.

"We treat everyone with the same degree of attention and fairness. So, to third party candidates, the Green Party, we say at the Chicago Board of Elections, we are very, very sorry and embarrassed and we apologize," said Langdon Neal, Chicago Board of Elections.

The commissioner says it was a simple proofreading error and has yet to determine who is to blame. But the board plans to work overtime through the weekend to fix the machines. It will cost thousands and set them behind schedule but they say they have no choice. Whitney, who campaigned downstate Thursday, agrees. But he's still not happy.

"This is something that compromises the integrity of the entire election. We're dealing with voting machines and if a programming error of this kind can take place, what else is going on," said Whitney.

The board of elections plans to post candidate neutral signs explaining the mistake at all early voting sites until they reprogram the machines, which they expect to finish by the end of next week.


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