Absentee ballots read “Barack Osama,” “simple mistake?” Pathetic.

The New York Times Editorial Board reported the following today: (see original, click here.)

Voters who wanted absentee ballots in an upstate New York County were surprised to see the name of the Democratic Presidential candidate. On the ballot, it read “Barack Osama.”

Major oops or dirty trick?

After the Albany Times-Union newspaper revealed the problem ballots on Friday, the Rensselaer County Board of Elections inisisted that the rendering of Barack Obama’s name was a simple mistake, and insisted that it was included on “only 300 of more than 4,000″ ballots.

“The board of elections acted quickly to correct the typographical error and regrets the error,” the board said in a statement. “The error was not deliberate and the Board of Elections is continuing to fairly manage the upcoming General Election in a bi-partisan and cooperative manner.”