Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Voter Fraud (in which a strange talent of mine would have allowed me to vote at least three times)

Took my six-month-old son to vote today (start good habits young, I say), and found no lines to speak of: the grammar school gym was empty at 10:00 a.m. The procedure was this: give you street address to a volunteer holding a big book. Then, when she's found the street address, give your name and take your ballot.

Now, I can read upside down. Very fast. It was a parlor trick in college for me to read the same homework as someone else, but reading the page upside down. This technique has also allowed me to suss out my competition for MLA interviews, etc.

Today it allowed me to see that the two guys who used to live in our house are still registered here in Dedham. I could have either called friends who vote at different precincts and asked them to vote as 'Brad' and 'Jamie', or I could probably have come back to the polling place, differently dressed, carrying different kids, etc., and voted three times.

Now I didn't want to do this, so I didn't. But the Commonwealth of Massachusetts needs to do something to prevent me from putting this evil plan into action.

Seriously, if a doofus like me, with not particular interest in voter fraud, can figure this out, it's obvious that the Mayor Daleys of the world are gaming the system big time. I don't actually think it would turn the result of a state or national election, but it allows for an enormous amount of electoral corruption in local politics.

Why don't the good government types try to solve this problem, which seems to me quite tractable? Obviously there must be something in it for them in keeping the current mess.

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