The last name of Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney is misspelled as "Whitey" on electronic-voting machines in nearly two dozen wards -- about half in predominantly African-American areas -- and election officials said Wednesday the problem cannot be corrected by Election Day.The very white Whitney doesn't want to be known as Rich Whitey.
The misspelling turned up on touch-screen machines in 23 wards overall. Whitney's name is spelled correctly on the machines' initial screens showing all of the candidates' names, but it is misspelled on review screens that later show a voter his or her choices, said Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections.
"This is a difficult situation. We'll make the best of it. But the important thing is the name is spelled correctly where it counts, and that's where people are making the selection," Allen said.
The snafu, however, has Whitney contemplating legal action to force a fix.This "Green" candidate was actually once quite red.
"I don't want to be identified as 'Whitey.' If this is happening in primarily African-American wards, that's an even bigger concern," Whitney told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I don't know if this is machine politics at play or why this happened."
He is a civil rights attorney with degrees from Michigan State University and Southern Illinois University's School of Law. He was a member of the Socialist Labor Party from 1975-1993 and at one point edited "The People," the party's national newspaper.