An amusing little edit we caught between two versions of an AP story yesterday, discussing Secretary of State Scott Gessler's top-priority effort to purge Colorado's voter rolls of an unspecified number of (but maybe a few dozen) illegally registered voters. As published to the Pueblo Chieftain's website yesterday evening, one version of the lede paragraph:
Colorado's elections chief is moving quickly [Pols emphasis] to identify and eliminate any ineligible voters by using a federal immigration database - an effort that left-leaning groups warn could lead to U.S. citizens wrongly being kicked off the rolls.
Gessler, the Republican secretary of state, and Colorado's election clerks are navigating uncharted territory in crossing out non-citizens before an Aug. 8 deadline - three months before the November general election.
''My goal really is to get something squared away in the next week or so, move expeditiously with this,'' Gessler said.
Keep the first sentence in mind as you read a version of the story from a few hours earlier:
Colorado's top elections officer is rushing [Pols emphasis] to use a federal immigration database to eliminate ineligible voters in the coming weeks as a deadline looms...
Full stop--do you want Gessler "rushing" through the process of "eliminating ineligible voters?"
Break out the red pen, folks!
As you can see, the newer story is fleshed out considerably from the original with much more detail, but keen-eyed observers will take note of the replacement of the word "rushing" with the words "moving quickly." To be clear, none of this is a problem, it's inevitable in the age of online publishing that stories will be updated and clarified after an initial version goes up. With syndicated wire stories, sometimes several versions will end up on different partner sites.
But given what Gessler is doing, you've got to wonder if maybe he asked for this particular edit.