The ban on fracking in North Carolina has been lifted as a result of an accidentally pressed button. Democratic representative Becky Carney unwittingly hit "Aye" to vote with Republicans seeking to overturn a veto from the Governor on the controversial method of mining natural gas. Although Carney noticed the error straight away, Republicans denied her the chance to change her vote as it would have altered the overall outcome. House rules don't allow for a do-over in that situation, since Carney's vote was the crucial 72nd that Republicans needed for the override — House Minority leader Paul Stam used a "clincher" move to ensure that the decision remained final.
"I feel that mistakes are made constantly when people are tired."
In an interview with WRAL, Carney put the slip down to fatigue brought on by a punishing legislative schedule.
"It is late. Here we are rushing to make these kind of decisions this time of night. I feel rotten, and I feel tired. 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."
Carney also reiterated her opposition to fracking, saying that she voted against the bill originally and lobbied against the veto. The controversy highlights the often ineffectual implementation of technology in government, and is an example of the direct effect it can have on the country. With irreversible systems such as this actively obstructing the course of democracy, it's a wonder we don't still vote with a show of hands.