October 7, 2004
If you stepped up to the plate and were ready to go to bat for your candidates before Nov. 2, you probably requested an early ballot.
With it, the Maricopa County Elections Department sent early voting instructions. Under "to cast a write-in vote," examples of a ballot are shown. The first two "candidates" names on the form are baseball Hall of Famer Babe Ruth and Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson.
The write-in: Louis G onzales of the Diamondbacks.
The elections department misspelled the name of the Diamondbacks’ most popular player, Luis Gonzalez, on all 200,000 early ballots it sent out last week.
"Oh, funny," said Secretary of State Jan Brewer, who hadn’t heard of the error. "Do you think it was done on purpose?"
Not according to county elections director Karen Osborne. "I haven’t had anyone call me about it," she said. "Maybe we meant someone else."
That seems unlikely, given that the name followed two others in baseball.
Brewer said that even if a voter misspells a write-in candidate’s name, the vote will count, if the intent is clear. She added that the vote would have to be for a legally registered write-in candidate.
Reached in St. Louis where he is a color commentator for the National League Division Series, Gonzalez said it’s not the first time he has been the object of a misspelling. It’s usually just his surname.
"They didn’t do their homework," said Gonzalez, who admitted he didn’t know about the blunder and was flustered. "Somebody was trying to be cute with it and it didn’t work. I appreciate the gesture, though. But, to get your name misspelled . . ."
Osborne said her office proofs its work and she’s sorry someone dropped the ball.
"If we made a mistake, I’m terribly sorry," she said. "We’re human."