'Barack Osama' Printed on Hundreds of NY Absentee Ballots

ABC News' Julia Hoppock reports: Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's last name was spelled "Osama" on three hundred absentee ballots mailed out this week in Rensselaer County, New York.

First reported in the TimesUnion.com, election officials in Rensselaer County say the misspelling is merely a typo.

The Democratic and Republican County Board of Election chairs, Edward McDonough and Larry Bugbee, said that "the error was not deliberate" in a joint statement issued Friday.

"In preparation of absentee ballots for the November 4th General Election, a typographical error was made in the name of one of the candidates.  The error was included on only 300 out of more than 4000 absentee ballots that will be mailed out this month.  The Board of Elections acted quickly to correct the typographical error and regrets the error."

Bugbee told the TimesUnion.com that despite having three different staff members look over the ballot, "somehow the typo got by us."

McDonough reiterated that the misspelling was nothing more than a mistake.  "No question this is an honest mistake innocently done,'' McDonough told the TimesUnion.com ''We catch almost everything.''

The sensitive misspelling comes at a time when the McCain-Palin campaign has intensified attacks on Obama's character, emphasizing his ties to 1960s radical William Ayres.

"I don't care about two washed-up old terrorists that are unrepentant about trying to destroy America. But I do care, and Americans should care, about his relationship with him and whether he's being truthful and candid about," Sen. John McCain said of Obama and Ayers in an interview with ABC News' Charles Gibson on Thursday.

Vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin also has questioned Obama's trustworthiness.  In several recent campaign rallies the governor accused Obama of  "palling around with terrorists."

And as the Republican ticket has ramped up the rhetoric, some of McCain and Palin's supporters have become increasingly hostile towards Obama. At a rally on Monday in Clearwater, one man shouted "Kill him," according to the Washington Post, after Palin mentioned Obama's association to Ayres.

When McCain asked a crowd in Albuquerque, New Mexico this week, "Who is the real Barack Obama?" someone in the crowd yelled "A terrorist."

Election Officials in Rensselaer County—which is split almost evenly among Democrats and Republicans—said in a statement they have acted quickly to correct the error.

The Obama campaign said they were glad county officials were fixing the misspelling. "We're glad officials are working to correct this error and we assume it won't happen again," said Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

ABC News' Lindsey Ellerson and Sunlen Miller contributed to this report.

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