Gay marriage postal vote has “BUMSEX” on the barcode

More than 760 million people now live in countries where same-sex marriage is legal, but Australia isn’t one of them.

The country is holding a non-binding postal vote on whether to legalize same-sex marriage, with a decision to be made by politicians in mid-November.

Some Australia were, however, in for a rude shock when they received their postal vote in the mail. Under the barcode there is a randomly selected series of letters and numbers, but as you can see from Jess Wheeler’s tweet below the letters “BUMSEX” appear in the middle.

Jonathan Palmer, deputy statistician for the Australian Bureau of Statsitics, apologized for the error, saying:

“The ABS acknowledges that in issuing 16 million barcodes it did not check and remove words and phrases that may be offensive.

The ABS apologises to the survey recipient and will issues a new form if requested.

The codes were issued using an algorithm generating more than two quintillion combinations of letters and numbers in order to generate highly secure barcodes.

The ABS will check newly issues barcodes.”

While difficult to believe this error could have been random, it’s a hilarious mistake to make in a nation so divided by gay marriage.

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