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Slice the Vote | The Nation

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Slice the Vote

Voters in three key areas of Virginia won't see Senate challenger Jim Webb's name on the summary page of their electronic ballots. Instead, thanks to a computer glitch, Webb's name will read "James H. 'Jim.' Moreover, voters won't know that his opponent, George Allen, is a Republican.

Election officials attribute the errors to an increase in type size, which likely can't be remedied before the November 7 election. According to the Washington Post, the secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections, Jean Jensen, "pledged to have it fixed by the 2007 statewide elections."

How reassuring. Despite the shrinkage on the summary page, Webb's full name will appear in the section where votes are actually cast. Election officials plan to post signs in voting booths explaining the discrepancy. If recent history is any indication, confusion will ensue.

Two local GOP legislators are calling for mandatory paper records to backup the erroneous electronic ballots. Good idea. It's only control of the US Senate that's potentially at stake.

PS: The Post also has a must-read story today further exposing Allen's sordid racial past.

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