November 9, 2012

The Itsy Bitsy Spider Screwed Up The Voting Machine

The vote count wasn’t completed until Wednesday afternoon in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, but wait ‘til you hear why.

If you voted on Tuesday, or if you’ve ever voted before, I’m sure you’re familiar with a certain level of frustration due to the agonizing waits. Depending on where you live, and the voter turn out of the area, you may not have waited too long; it only took me about thirty minutes total, but I know I got lucky.

Some folks in Massachusetts weren’t nearly as lucky.

The wait to vote wasn’t actual the agonizing part for the people of Rehoboth. It was the ballot counting that took a whole day. Keep in mind, it’s a town of a whopping 12,000 citizens, so it’s not like there were heaps of ballots to count.

The culprit? A malfunctioning scanner in a voting machine.

But wait, it gets better! The machine was malfunctioning due to a spider web nestled neatly on the inside of it; the web was blocking the scanner’s eye and prohibited it from counting the ballots. Charlotte must have spun her web in favor of Mitt Romney, but it was a futile attempt.

(Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney actually won the majorities in the area despite my lighthearted spider jokes)

“Rehoboth Town Clerk Kathleen Conti says one of the town’s aging voting machines malfunctioned Tuesday morning.” The tally of votes was finally finished at 3:30pm Wednesday afternoon.

A total of eight poll workers toiled arduously through the night to count all 800 ballots by hand, she said.

According to the Conti, all the voting machines in the town underwent preventative maintenance just a month ago. (Charlotte must have been busy, eh?) Whoever was in charge of carrying out the maintenance better be looking for a new job, but then again he/she probably already is; how steady can ballot machine maintenance work be after all? But I digress.

The people of this tiny town outside of Boston had to wait patiently for their votes to be tallied up, but by the time they were done President Barak Obama had already skipped across the stage grinning ear to ear like a schoolboy as the monitors blared “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” by Stevie Wonder.

Fortunately there wasn’t any foul play suspected, and there wasn’t truly any fraud. I’m sure there were some skeptics once the news got out that all the fuss was from a little bitty spider web, but I don’t think their 12,000 votes would have made the difference anyhow.

Conti has been seeking to replace the town’s 14-year-old voting machines for several years. Unfortunately her requests have fallen on deaf ears, but maybe this whole spider web fiasco will work out for the better.

She said an article on the Nov. 26 special town meeting warrant would provide $13,500 for sorely needed new machines.

Hopefully they get the machines they need, and with any luck there are no insect issues with the new machines.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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