Neb. thwarts pranksters' license plate hijacking

May 24, 2009 5:32:54 AM PDT
Nebraska on Friday threw out thousands of votes - online votes for its new license plate - after discovering that a minimalist approach initially won only because a humor Web site had urged people to choose the most boring design.

Department of Motor Vehicles Director Beverly Neth announced Friday that a white, gold and black plate featuring the state bird and state flower - the western meadowlark and goldenrod - is the actual winner of online voting. The new plates go into use in 2011.

The winner announced Tuesday had been a black-and-white plate with the URL of Nebraska's Web site in red. But those results were skewed by a prank instigated by collegehumor.com, which encouraged people to vote for what it deemed to be the most boring design.

Gov. Dave Heineman's spokeswoman, Jen Rae Hein, said the black-and-white plate generated 12,510 of the 14,805 votes cast through collegehumor.com's link to the Nebraska DMV voting site.

After Neth disqualified the humor site's votes, the bird-and-flower design became the winner with 32,858 votes. The black-and-white plate managed to place second among four entries, less than 5,000 votes behind.

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