Last night, Republican voters in New Hampshire cast their ballots for Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate to oppose Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election; a collective Democratic head-scratching session ensued. Meanwhile, a different crop of votes were cast a little farther down the coast. But these ones—meant to decide a name for the new hawk nesting in Washington Square Park—turned out to be a lot less legitimate. NYT’s City Room reports:

“In case the obvious needed to be said, we asked you to vote only once, please. We used a simple ballot that required no identifying information, because we trusted you.


Voting was fairly evenly split between the two names in the early going, though after 1,000 votes, Rosie was ahead 638 to 362.

Then Noelle began to, uh, gather momentum.

At one point on Tuesday afternoon, Noelle received 365 votes in a row.

We watched them come in. Every three or four seconds, as if someone were going click, click, click.”

After consulting with Professor Kenneth Katkin of Northern Kentucky University who confirmed that there was most likely ballot stuffing, the NYT has determined that a revote is the best course of action—maybe they’ll learn to take a leaf out of our (very-lengthy, hawk-naming-specific) book. Regardless, we can only hope that NYT readers will get it right this time, or else Romney will have to fire them.