NPR logo Mea Culpa in Maryland

Mea Culpa in Maryland

And speaking of follow-up, my colleague Noah Adams notes an unusually frank admission today by a government bureaucrat in The Washington Post. Paul Valette, who manages election operations for Montgomery County, Md., says it was his fault that computer cards weren't delivered to polling places on time Tuesday morning. That mistake led to big delays, and thousands of primary voters having to cast provisional ballots. It's also led to calls for his bosses to resign. But Valette says his department just forgot to include the cards in the packages delivered to each precinct before the polls opened. He says workers were overwhelmed with preparations, especially because some new voting equipment arrived late. In any event, it's refreshing for a public servant to be so up front about such an embarrassing blunder. Valette, a former military man, says he was horrified by the mistake, but if he loses his job, it's not the end of the world:

"As a soldier, I have the perspective that starts with: Is anyone going to die? No? Then, okay, we're automatically down one level."
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