‘Whitey-gate’ was nothing new to Green Party, says Whitney

22 Oct

By Jennifer Schanz

Rich Whitney is convinced the misspelling of his name as ‘Rich Whitey’ in 23 wards in Chicago is due to one of two things, “a deliberate act or gross negligence.” Either way, he says the Green Party is on familiar turf.

In a public statement issued by the third party gubernatorial candidate, Whitney reflected on the bullying the Green Party received in both the 2008 and 2010 primaries from election officials “…the fact is that the Green Party has been a victim of hostile acts by election authorities before.”

During the past two primaries, Democratic Party ballots were printed on green card stock, leading to mass confusion as people requesting a “Green ballot” were handed Democratic Party ballots instead.

Whitney also claims that previous election judges have hid ballots from public view, claiming they were not aware of any Green Party primary. “In sum, we have a good reason to be suspicious,” he says.

If negligence is at play, Whitney blames the corruption that accompanies the privatization of public functions. ,”…a private, for-profit firm has a profit incentive to cut costs and cut corners.” He continues, “How hard could it have been to proofread the ballot screens and test the machines before putting them out for use?”

While he acknowledged the apology issued by Chicago Election Board Chairman Langdon Neal, Whitney expressed concern regarding the election board’s response to ‘Whiteygate.’

Firstly, Whitney says the board was slow to respond and had an inconsistent stance on the scope of the issue, as Green Party officials were “first being told that it was limited to a number of wards, then being told it was city-wide.”

Secondly, Neal placing the blame of the misspelling on Toronto-based private contractor Dominion Voting, a large provider of electronic voting machines, isn’t a legitimate excuse, according to Whitney.

He sees the white-out controversy as more than just a simple misspelling, but a reminder of the questionable integrity within the Illinois voting system and the ethics climate of Chicago voting procedures.

“Why is something as vital to our society as the integrity of the vote being left to a private, for-profit contractor? “ he asked.

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