Sometimes, typos matter — a lot. We’ve seen typos get law firms into all kinds of trouble. And now a typo might ruin the already slim gubernatorial chances of a Green Party candidate.
Running on the Green Party line, Rich Whitney wasn’t likely to become the next Governor of Illinois anyway. But an error at the Chicago Board of Elections will cause Whitney’s name to be misspelled as “Whitey” on some touch screen ballots this November. Of the 23 wards affected by this typo, half of them are in largely African-American districts. And the error cannot not be fixed in time for Election Day.
So yeah, black people in Chicago will be able to vote for “Rich Whitey” this fall.
You remember that scene in Die Hard With a Vengeance where Bruce Willis has to stand in the middle of Harlem while wearing an offensive sandwich board? Things are going to turn out marginally better for Rich Whitney, but clearly Whitney would have been better off changing his last name to “not the whiteman’s bitch.” Or even “Kill Whitey,” as Juggalo Law suggests…
The Chicago Sun-Times explains the problem:
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.
“This is a difficult situation. We’ll make the best of it. But the important thing is the name is spelled correctly where it counts, and that’s where people are making the selection,” Allen said.
Sorry to burst your bubble, Jim Allen, but if a touch screen asked me to confirm if I voted for “Whitey,” I would cancel that selection. It’s one of my little rules. I don’t vote for Whitey, I don’t sleep with Republicans, I don’t drink beer with raspberries or strawberries or anything other than beer in it — a man’s gotta have a code.
And Richard Whitney — he knows he’s screwed:
“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.”
Machine politics? Does Whitney think somebody did this on purpose? Well, Gawker has a theory:
The Illinois governor’s race could be very close. And Democratic operatives everywhere tend to be at their most ruthless when trying to destroy, or remove from the ballot entirely, vote-stealing Green party candidates in state races. Illinois has the most corrupt politics in America, and Chicago is the most corrupt political city in Illinois. “Rich Whitey.” Black-majority districts. C’mon, now. And they say they can’t do anything to fix this misspelling before Election Day! This is so obviously a conspiracy, maybe.
Wait a minute, this sounds way too organized and calculating for Democrats to pull off. If I had to choose between a local board of elections being totally inept, or a devious conspiracy organized and executed by the Democratic party, I’m going with the the screwed up board of elections. Occam’s Razor, baby.
Still, I feel so bad for Rich Whitney. He wasn’t going to win, but he deserved a chance. Maybe he should move to New York — ’cause let me tell you, if (God forbid) I had to choose between “Rich Whitey” or Crazy Carl, I’ll break my own rules to welcome my new Whitey overlord.
Whitney is ‘Whitey’ on some ballots [Chicago Sun-Times]
Candidate’s Name Misspelled as ‘Rich Whitey’ on Black-District Ballots [Gawker]
Earlier: A Very Expensive Typo?