WASHINGTON—Hoping the yellow, graphite-based writing instrument would allay voter doubts following the chaos of the Iowa caucuses, the Democratic National Committee reportedly offered a technology startup $500 million Tuesday to develop a pencil that can accurately record election results. “As of this morning, we have commissioned the design and manufacture of a cutting-edge tabulation device that will be able to legibly report vote totals on a sheet of paper 99% of the time,” said DNC chair Tom Perez, holding up a rough prototype of the 7.5-inch hexagonal marking implement, which will be built and rigorously stress-tested by a new Silicon Valley business venture known as Sharpen. “It may not be easy to encase a cylinder of graphite with wood or put a slick coat of glossy paint on its outside. But with this new partnership, we believe we will soon have at our disposal a pencil that is both reliable and totally resistant to any attack by foreign powers. Also, because it can be sharpened, this new delegate-reporting tool can be used repeatedly, lasting us through New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, and perhaps even Super Tuesday.” At press time, sources confirmed plans for the pencil had been scrapped after election security experts warned the rubber eraser on its tip would quickly erode public trust in the product.
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