New York - The city's Board of Elections issued an official health alert to New Yorkers voting in the presidential primaries: "Don't touch, taste or sniff the core of the pencil with which you are marking your ballot. It is really made of lead and can really make you quite ill."
"Lead is a highly toxic material that can cause brain damage, death or worse," said Hector Livide, New York's Deputy Commissioner For Parks and the Unanticipated. "That's why it is virtually never used in pencils, which rely on graphite to make their mark."
But how then did lead get into the thousands of pencils used by voters on primary day?
New York election chief Gross Piber believes he has an answer: "I bought them on my vacation to Mexico this past summer. I thought it would be cute to offer real lead pencils to the voters."
Piber never took a science course he didn't fail so he wasn't aware of legs toxicity.
Then, the Flint, Michigan story broke. "I started to wish Trump had already built his wall. And I began making phone calls to see if I could trade my real lead pencils for the fake, but safe, graphite ones."
When the Environmental Protection Agency found out that Piber was pedaling a pile of poison, it threw him Into prison, where he languishes still.
But the question remains: why are New Yorkers filling out their ballots in pencil rather than indelible ink? Replying from his jail cell, Piber explains that the board of elections is often asked to correct inaccuracies on voting ballots.
"Many times we have to replace one candidate's name for another to make sure that the best man wins."
Piber wins too. He explains that ballot adjustment is quite lucrative to the board of elections. in fact, the word graphite is a derivative of the root "graft."
"Plus, we're the reason God created erasers."