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Jesse White's chief of staff, Tom Benigno, lost his bid for Norridge Village President Tuesday night.

With all 10 precincts reporting, James Chmura of the Norridge Improvement Party had 53 percent of the vote to Benigno's 39 percent. A third candidate, Riccardo Mora had about 7 percent of vote. In all, 3,603 votes were cast in the Cook County suburb.


By Andy Ihnatko

The software development community had never been entertained by its own equivalent of a "Fail" video before. And then, the Romney campaign commissioned ORCA, an ambitious software platform that was supposed to collect onsite voting information from tens of thousands of volunteers nationwide on election day, and send it to strategists at campaign HQ.

You know what I mean by a Fail video? I'm talking about those viral clips that usually begin with someone saying "Here, hold my beer and watch me do this" and ends with the camera rushing over to the spot on the side of the road where this guy is now rocking back and forth, clutching his groin in agony next to broken bits of his skateboard . . . as well as the railing that he apparently believed was made of a soft and spongy kind of iron.

These videos are entertaining because they document an absolutely unambiguous disaster that's being suffered by someone other than you. And they're genuinely fascinating, because . . . well, criminy, man! A higher lifeform wouldn't even consider making a jump from the bed of a moving flatbed truck onto a roadside trampoline. What the hell was this person even thinking?

There were so many fails about ORCA. The webapp was meant to connect tens of thousands of volunteers to a single central webserver This lone server was soon shut down by the campaign's ISP, because the sudden incoming flood of geographically-diverse hits appeared to be a denial-of-service attack. The server appeared to be inadequate for the flood of traffic anyway.

Romney campaign Digital Director Zac Moffatt talked to CNET about the traffic blast and amount of data being served:

"The primary issue was we beta-tested in a different environment than the Garden [Boston Garden, where the 800 campaign staffers were working]. There was so much data coming in -- 1200 records or more per minute -- it shut down the system for a time. Users were frustrated by lag, and some people dropped off and we experienced attrition as a result."

Google search terms and the election

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Data collected by Google on search terms in critical swing states like Ohio, Florida and Virginia on Election Day gives us a glimpse into the mind of the undecided voter -- or at least into the mind of someone just inundated with rallies, ads and campaigning. Below are some graphics Google created for the top search terms in those states:

Google Terms in Ohio

Google Search Florida

Google Search Virginia

By Richard Roeper

It's 2012, and my ballot looks like the menu at a breakfast diner in Greektown. An oversized, unwieldy thing filled with an overwhelming number of selections and options.
I know: some folks were lucky enough to have the modern, electronic option. Not me. I had the big giant menu and the ballpoint pen, and the instructions to connect the dots and make my selections, from my choice for president to retaining people I've never heard of until the very moment I was asked if I should retain them.
Meanwhile, I'm still recovering from an election judge telling me, "It's early, and my hearing isn't so good this early." Wait, what? Your hearing improve when the sun comes out?
I also witnessed the amazing sight of a half-dozen voters being told their filled-out ballots were invalid, so they'd have to start all over again.
That's right: they were literally voting early and often. Long before the polls closed, we were getting the obligatory stories about Election Day shenanigans.
A mural of the president in a polling place? Check.
Voter in a Big Bird costume? Check.
Video of a man in a gorilla suit allowed to vote? Check.
Story out of a Florida about a woman in an MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) T-shirt stopped because election judge thought it was a "MITT" shirt? Check.
Charges of confusion and incompetence at some polling places? Check-check.
Our system! It ain't perfect, but it's better than just about any electoral process across the globe. And what a wondrous sight it was to see Americans lining up in the dark of the pre-dawn, the sunshine and rain of midday and the November gloom of evening to cast their ballots.