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« Morning Thoughts: Segment Politics | Blog Home Page | Indecision Sends Mixed Signals »

More Florida Flubs

They can't figure out whether someone has punched a chad or not. They can't pick a voting machine to rely on that won't induce a lawsuit. And now, Florida election officials can't seem to spell anyone's name right.

For Rudy Giuliani, who is blanketing the state with advertising and an aggressive bus tour, name recognition should not be a problem. But last week the St. Petersburg Times reported that the Hillsborough County elections office sent out more than 200,000 sample ballots that misspelled Giuliani's first name as "Rudi."

Elections Supervisor Buddy Johnson quickly threw an unnamed staffer under the bus, saying the employee will be "disciplined appropriately." Johnson somehow still managed to take "full credit" for the error and apologized to the Giuliani campaign.

But the misspellings don't end with the Mayor. Volusia County issued 2,000 ballots listing a certain Senator from Illinois as "Barak Obama." Contrary to assertions of some, Obama does spell his first name with a "c" in there. Elections Supervisor Ann McFall said all future ballots would be altered to correct the spelling, the Orlando Sentinel reported, and that any vote cast for "Barak Obama" will count toward Barack Obama.

Volusia County has plenty of company on the list of those who have misspelled Obama's name. And to be fair to the county, the candidate himself is probably less offended that he was when CNN called him "Osama" or when Clinton surrogate Bob Kerry mentioned repeatedly that Obama's middle name is Hussein. The Sentinel also pokes fun at themselves, pointing out that Obama's name has been misspelled twice in their own pages.

Early voting begins today in Florida. Hopefully their supporters can maneuver around the Rudi and Barak flubs.