A political typo of epic proportions

In North Carolina, a legislator accidentally pushed the wrong button on her vote-making machine and now the state will be open to fracking operations. Even though Rep. Becky Carney realized she'd hit the wrong button almost immediately, she was not allowed to change her crucial, outcome-changing vote. Suddenly, I feel a bit better about my problem with it's vs. its. (Via Colin Schultz)


  1. oh whither gone is our mounting sense of political conspiracy?  may we not at least try to imagine the rewards a politician will receive for “hit[ting] the wrong button” while having the convenient cover of it being an accident?

    1. Something tells me there will be a check deposited in one of her “personal” accounts by mistake as well.

        1. I live in North Carolina. I’m a little more outraged about the 2/3 of the legislature who voted “yes” on the fracking bill and DIDN’T think they made a huge mistake. But then, they also overrode the veto of the “we’re gonna legally mandate how much sea level can rise” bill, so these guys didn’t really get much confidence from me this weekend. And don’t get me started on the budget, or the gerrymandered redistricting of the past year. Bleh.

          1. Re: septimar

            Not all of the worse case scenarios are likely to occur in every case – it’s not like every nuclear plant has a meltdown, either. I quote the article you pointed to: “fracking can be undertaken safely, as long as “best practices are implemented and robustly enforced through regulation.” The problem is, the buffoons in our General Assembly have stripped our Department of Environment and Natural Resources of both the authority and funding to implement or enforce adequate regulations. There are also real concerns about consequences that can’t be mitigated (property value loss, noise pollution, traffic damage from new heavy trucks on our already crumbling rural roads, what to do with the excess contaminated water left over from the process, etc.)

            Of course, I don’t particularly like the idea of us spending more time developing new and innovative ways to get at new fossil fuels to burn regardless of how safe the extraction process is. Yes, some fossil fuels are still a necessary part of a global energy strategy, for now, but I’d rather see energy prices go up a wee bit and force us to more seriously consider renewable alternatives than burn more and more.

  2. “it’s vs. its”    At least you acknowledge the scope of the problem.   Just as long as you don’t confuse they’re and their.  Some crimes are just unforgiveable.

  3. Apparently, according to the rules, she would have been able to change her vote, but only if it would not have affected the outcome.

    Who comes up with these things?

    1. I think this rule makes sense, at least in a general sense. The alternative would be to allow legislators to vote, check out the results, then change their minds. Effectively that would mean they could vote last instead of everyone voting together.

      This was not a situation where someone was trying to game the system, and it is ridiculous that the Republicans refused to suspend the rules.

      1. Speaking as a user interface designer who is plagued by pointless “Are you sure you want to …” dialogs I personally wonder why the yes/no options in this system do not have their own “missile abort” style buttons.

  4. Immediately after the vote, with other motions on the floor that would have corrected this, the Republicans used a clincher motion to end debate and finalize the vote.

    Another Democrat changed her vote after a huge concession was added for her district.  No one cares about that overt bribery, because that’s just how the system works.  It’s the suspected bribery taking place here that we all care about.

  5. If Conoco or any other natural gas energy concern thinks that fracking is perfectly safe, then their board and high-level executives should have no trouble moving to a highly active fracking site and drinking unfiltered local water.

    1. Basic corporate rule, company execs/owners and real estate developers never live in the areas they build in.  They take the money and build a trophy home in some pretty place, untouched by people like them.

  6. First “we” approve Amendment One, now this.

    My home state: Christ, what an asshole.

      1. Because how could she ever be trusted to be a good legislator with those sausage fingers? Politics, it’s all about fingers. Or maybe making the most people cry at once. I have to admit I’ve rather lost track of things lately.

        1.  The fingers you have used to vote are too fat. To obtain a special voting wand, please mash the keypad with your palm now.

  7. The article talks about how this whole operation is going to happen because of one mistake.  Actually, it is going to happen because half of the legislators less one *voted for it intentionally*.

  8. First, why the hell is she pushing a button. What ever happened to “Yea” or “Nay”?

    I’m more disturbed that this all rode on one vote, one, on such a heavy issue. 

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