City worker rigged radio poll to favor mayor

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A city government employee developed a computer program that let him rig a radio station's online poll in favor of the mayor, who is seeking re-election Tuesday.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's administration said the employee, who works in the city's computer department, would not be disciplined.

"As far as I'm concerned, it was all in good fun," the mayor said.

The employee found a way around restrictions on repeat voting, allowing him to bombard the site with votes favoring the mayor, the mayor's office acknowledged. The poll, posted last week, showed 86 percent of listeners believed the media was too harsh in its coverage of Mr. Ravenstahl, compared with 14 percent who didn't.

Ravenstahl spokeswoman Alecia Sirk said there were no grounds for discipline because the employee rigged the poll on his own time.

"He did it as a private citizen. He's well within his rights as a person," she said. "People do it privately all the time for American Idol and nobody investigates that."

Two separate online polls asked listeners who they were supporting for mayor. One ended in favor of Mr. Ravenstahl and the other in favor of his Republican challenger, Mark DeSantis.


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