Too tired to vote? Don't hit that touch pad.

Government employees need to be wary of operating technology when they’re working late and are tired. That goes for tasks as simple as pushing a button or hitting a touch pad.

That’s the warning gleaned from a tired North Carolina state legislator whose vote helped pass legislation she had opposed.

Democratic state representative Becky Carney unwittingly hit "Aye" on her electronic voting console and gave Republicans the decisive vote to overturn a veto from the Governor and allow fracking, the controversial method of mining natural gas, according to The Verge, a technology-focused news site.

Although Carney noticed her error immediately, she was not allowed to change her vote as it would have altered the overall outcome. North Carolina House rules don't allow for a do-over in that situation, the online journal explained.

She blamed the error on the lateness of the hour and on being tired. “I feel that mistakes are made constantly when people are tired,” Carney said. “And I feel rotten about it, but I take responsibility for my vote.”

Carney’s experience is borne out by research from Canada, where some studies have shown that when workers have slept for fewer than five hours before work or when workers have been awake for more than 16 hours, their chances of making mistakes due to fatigue are significantly increased.

About the Author

Connect with the GCN staff on Twitter @GCNtech.


  • 2020 Government Innovation Awards
    Government Innovation Awards -

    21 Public Sector Innovation award winners

    These projects at the federal, state and local levels show just how transformative government IT can be.

  • Federal 100 Awards
    cheering federal workers

    Nominations for the 2021 Fed 100 are now being accepted

    The deadline for submissions is Dec. 31.

Stay Connected