If they are going to cheat, I wish they would at least show us enough respect to tell us plausible lies.
U.S. Senate candidate James Webb's last name has been cut off on part of the electronic ballot used by voters in Alexandria, Falls Church and Charlottesville because of a computer glitch that also affects other candidates with long names, city officials said yesterday.
The name of the Republican incumbent, George F. Allen, just happens to fit perfectly.
Election officials attribute the mistake to an increase in the type size on the ballot. Although the larger type is easier to read, it also unintentionally shortens the longer names on the summary page of the ballot.
Thus, Democratic candidate Webb will appear with his first name and nickname only -- or "James H. 'Jim' " -- on summary pages in Alexandria, Falls Church and Charlottesville, the only jurisdictions in Virginia that use balloting machines manufactured by Hart InterCivic of Austin.
Jean Jensen, secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections, who said yesterday she only recently became aware of the problem, pledged to have it fixed by the 2007 statewide elections.
Apparently, giving the voters paper ballots with every candidate's complete name is beyond their technical ability.
This is a race that some polls are showing statistically tied. A small confusion can make the difference between winning and losing. Does anyone remember "Jews for Buchanan" in 2000?