Jane Balogh got herself in trouble for submitting voided election ballots in the name of “Duncan M. MacDonald” in the last three elections. Reason: “Duncan M. MacDonald” is her shepherd-terrier. One tip-off for the election authorities: One of the envelopes was signed with a picture of a paw print.
Apparently, she was protesting a 2005 Washington state law that in her opinion made it too easy for non-citizens to vote. She first put her phone bill in the name of her dog Duncan. Following that, she used the phone bill as identification to register Duncan as a voter. She then had Duncan cast ballots in September and November 2006 and May 2007.
While I applaud her sense of humor combined with her sense of civic involvement, the real issue is not ‘voter fraud’, but ‘election fraud'.
There is a difference.
Voter fraud is when a single voter may try to vote more than once or votes in a district where he or she may not be registered. Election fraud, however, is much more insidious and much more dangerous.
Election fraud is perpetrated on a massive scale. “Electoral fraud is illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud tend to involve affecting vote counts to bring about a desired election outcome, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates, or both.” Like perpetrated by the Republicans in Florida in 2000. Or Ohio in 2004.
So, for all the Mrs. Baloghs and their dogs out there: A big thumbs up for your hard work at trying to keep elections clean and free of voter fraud. Let’s get to work now on election fraud ----in time for 2008. And don’t forget your pooper-scooper if you’re going to the polls.
What is the voting age in dog years, anyway?
"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls."
George W. Bush