Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 6, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

BUTTERFLY BALLOT REDUX....Via Livejournal blogger emperorsargosa, who has the entire thing scanned on his site, comes news of the Michigan absentee ballot. I've cropped just the presidential part of the ballot, and as you can see it's a wee bit misaligned.

Check the box for John Kerry, and it's really a vote for George Bush.

Of course, this is made up for by the fact that Kerry is going to receive all of David Cobb's votes.

Plus the fact that lots of Bush voters are just going to be completely confused.

So is Michigan the new Florida? Will this end up hurting Kerry or Bush the worst? And will whoever approved this ballot get fired?

I did a quick check of the Detroit Free Press and didn't notice any stories about this, so I don't know what the explanation is. (That is, aside from it just being a screwup.) Have any of my Michigan readers received this ballot?

UPDATE: Blue Lemur reports that the ballots are being reprinted. But have they already been sent out? Will Michigan residents all be receiving two separate absentee ballots?

ANOTHER UPDATE: In comments, Michigan resident emptywheel reports receiving a correctly aligned ballot and says that absentee ballots were delayed because of this error. Not sure if that's true everywhere or not, though. Have any Michigan readers received two sets of ballots? Or did the incorrect ballots never get mailed in the first place?

FINAL UPDATE: According to the Michigan Secretary of State, the misprinted ballot was confined to a single precinct in the city of Alma and was sent to only 69 voters. Those voters will get replacement ballots.

In other words, no big deal.

Kevin Drum 1:13 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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