shortformblog:

How does a bill become a law? In the case of today’s vote to legalize hydraulic fracking in North Carolina, by means of an accidental button push. State Rep. Becky Carney, a longstanding opponent of fracking, accidentally voted “yes” instead of “no” on an override of Governor Bev Perdue’s veto of a previously passed, pro-fracking bill. And even though she realized her mistake immediately, apparently that’s just bad luck in North Carolina — her unintended vote was locked in. And hers was the deciding vote. Meaning that, since it was a veto overturn, her slip-up was the single, literal difference between fracking and no fracking in her state. “I feel rotten, and I feel tired,” Carney said. “And I feel that mistakes are made constantly when people are tired. And I feel rotten about it, but I take responsibility for my vote.”