These days just about anyone can vote–even dogs. In Seattle, “Duncan M. MacDonald” Jane Balogh’s Australian shepherd-terrier mix successfully registered to vote and cast three separate ballots between September 2006 and May 2007. By putting the phone bill in Duncan’s name, Balogh somehow convinced authorities that the pooch met all the legal voting requirements.
Balogh submitted only blank ballots in her dog’s name, as her intention was not to swing election results but to demonstrate how feasible it is for sneaky voters to cast bogus ballot. In the most recent elections, she signed the ballot using her dog’s paw print. This prompted authorities to contact “Duncan” to notify him that his ballot was invalid–not because they’d figured out that he was a canine, but because he’d failed to follow the proper voting procedures for signing an absentee ballot. Restless with waiting for the big wigs to catch on to her prank, Balogh finally confessed to them that her roommate Duncan was not in fact a member of our species.
Balogh’s shenanigans indeed beg the question of just how many illegitimate votes have gone to winning candidates in recent elections, especially in light of the fiascoes of recent presidential elections. The immediate response from the authorities, however, was to shoot the messenger. Jane Balogh will face misdemeanor charges in court. It appears the mutt will not be indicted.