According to Rachel Maddow, a little known fact about the 2012 Republican primary race thus far is that a great deal of the actual voting has been been done in absolute chaos.

First in this segment from Tuesday night's The Rachel Maddow Show, Maddow looked at a few of the different Illinois primary ballots. Each ballot had a unique format and in some counties, rather than voting for the presidential nominee candidate directly, voters had to choose individual delegates who would vote for that candidate at the convention. Maddow also reported that 25 of the 110 counties voting in Illinois made ballots that were too wide to fit into voting machines.

Missouri was particularly messy as well. Republicans scheduled their primary for February 7, but were informed by national Republican Party officials that a primary that early in the year would cost the state delegates at the national convention. So Missouri Republicans held a non-binding, meaningless primary, with real delegate selection taking place this last weekend, a process which devolved into ugly shouting matches in Clay County and St. Charles County, Missouri.

Maddow said that the kind of ongoing chaos we're seeing is a first in the U.S., that multiple errors on this level are unprecedented in American history. "This," she said, "has been an absolute mess."

Watch the clip, embedded via MSNBC, below:

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