Whitney Is ‘Whitey’ on Some Ballots

Dave McKinney, Chicago Sun-Times, October 14, 2010

The last name of Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney is misspelled as “Whitey” on electronic-voting machines in nearly two dozen wards–about half in predominantly African-American areas–and election officials said Wednesday the problem cannot be corrected by Election Day.

The misspelling turned up on touch-screen machines in 23 wards overall. Whitney’s name is spelled correctly on the machines’ initial screens showing all of the candidates’ names, but it is misspelled on review screens that later show a voter his or her choices, said Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections.

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Allen said there is not adequate time to reprogram and test machines before Nov. 2. He predicted about 90 percent of the ballots cast that day will be on paper ballots, where Whitney’s name is spelled properly.

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The snafu, however, has Whitney contemplating legal action to force a fix.

“I don’t want to be identified as ‘Whitey.’ If this is happening in primarily African-American wards, that’s an even bigger concern,” Whitney told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I don’t know if this is machine politics at play or why this happened.”

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