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Voters are told pen had 'invisible ink'

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BLANK BALLOTS | Staffers try to reach 20 who thought they'd voted

February 6, 2008

BY ANNIE SWEENEY Staff Reporter/asweeney@suntimes.com

When it comes to election shenanigans, Chicago has been accused of just about everything.

But invisible ink?

Twenty voters at a Far North Side precinct who found their ink pens not working were told by election judges not to worry.

It's invisible ink, officials said. The scanner will count it.

But their votes weren't recorded after all.

"Part of me was thinking it does sound stupid enough to be true,'' said Amy Carlton, who had serious doubts but went ahead and voted anyway.

As it turns out, Carlton was one of 20 voters at the precinct who were given the wrong pen to use. They were also then told, apparently by a misinformed judge, that the pens have invisible ink, elections officials said.

As a result, the votes were not counted. But officials insisted there were no dirty tricks involved.

"This one defies logic,'' said Jim Allen, a spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections. "You try to anticipate everything. But certain things just ... they go beyond any kind of planning you can perform.''

By late afternoon, five voters had been contacted and told to come back to the polling place to vote again. And elections staff had left messages at the homes of the rest, Allen said.

Carlton and Angela Burkhardt, another voter who was told the same invisible ink story, spent a good part of the day calling and e-mailing the Board of Elections to get answers.

"I am furious and devastated and I just feel stupid,'' Carlton said. "I feel so angry.''

Both women agreed that this election meant a lot. They had spent a good deal of time researching candidates.

"I have been voting since I was 18,'' said Carlton, 38. "This is the most important election of my life so far.''

Burkhardt planned to go back to vote late Tuesday. She worried about those who might not be able to return.

"I worry about the other people who were there,'' she said. "Maybe [they] can't get off work. I am a person of privilege. I can go back. What if you couldn't?"

If you are dumb enough to believe pens have invisible ink you shouldnt be allowed to vote.

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What's dumb is this reporter. Why is it about the voters? The election "officials" aren't even being questioned?

These officials "accidentally" saying this B.S. about the pens is as accidental as Heath Ledger "accidentally" overdosing on 5 kinds of narcotic painkillers and antidepressants.

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If you are dumb enough to believe pens have invisible ink you shouldnt be allowed to vote.

Sure you have to be pretty dumb to believe that the election is done in invisible ink, but how dumb was the judge to be that "misinformed"? Either that was intentional or that ****er needs his IQ checked. Either way he should be off the bench.

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