Hundreds of voters in New York’s upstate Rensselaer County were sent absentee ballots that listed the name of Democratic nominee Barack Obama as “Barack Osama,” an error that recalls the name of 9/11 terrorist Osama bin Laden.
The mistake was first reported by the Times Union of Albany, according to the Associated Press. The elections office faxed a statement in which the two commissioners, Democrat Edward McDonough and Republican Larry Bugbee, said they regret the error but never acknowledge what the error was.
“It’s human error, it’s very unfortunate, it’s an embarrassment to our office, obviously,” McDonough said in a later phone interview with the AP. “We wish we could turn back the clock, but we can’t.”
After the mistake was discovered, officials shredded the remaining “Osama” ballots and sent out correct versions to the roughly 300 people who had already received them. Voters who received both versions will be allowed to send in either one and have it counted, McDonough said.
Obama spokesman Blake Zeff said the campaign is “glad officials are working to correct this error and we assume it won’t happen again.”