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Dead Goldfish Offered The Vote In Illinois 216

Posted by samzenpus
from the Mr.-Limpet dept.
Election officials in northern Chicago want to know why voter registration material was sent to Princess, a dead goldfish. "I am just stunned at the level of people compromising the integrity of the voting process," said Lake County Clerk Willard Helander, a Republican, who said she has spotted problems with nearly 1,000 voter registrations this year. Beth Nudelman, who owned Princess, said the fish may have got on a mailing list because the family once filled in her name when they got a second phone line for a computer. When will we recognize a goldfish's right to vote?

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Dead Goldfish Offered The Vote In Illinois

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  • by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @03:34PM (#25458219) Homepage Journal
    Has been push-polling my 5 year old son, so why not a goldfish?
    • Does your 5 year old son have his own phone line? I'm guessing the goldfish in question probably didn't.
      • No, Christopher doesn't. My name is on the phone line in question.
        • No, Christopher doesn't. My name is on the phone line in question.

          That is interesting, then. I figured that you may have purchased a phone line for your five-year-old (I'm sure it wouldn't be the first time its happened in this country).

          I'll guess that you and your son don't have the same first name, since you said the campaign is calling for him and not you. Have you tried calling the local campaign office to get your son's name removed from the list?

          • by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @01:07AM (#25464637)
            As someone who works campaigns for a living now, I can tell you that trying to get off the lists is nigh impossible. Unless you tell them you will be voting against them. Those are the only ones who stopped getting called. Even then, that doesn't always work.
            • Ah, then that might have been what really did the trick- I told the last lady who called that Christopher couldn't vote, my wife has chosen to vote for Obama, and I'm fed up with both parties so I'm voting for Chuck Baldwin.
          • Yep- mentioned it to them and all 5 of the callers. The calls have stopped, so I guess they've finally got the hint.
    • by bonch (38532) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @07:40PM (#25461865)

      It gets worse. ACORN has been registering dead people, homeless people, Mickey Mouse, you name it. What was even more sickening is that Democrats on Huffington Post claimed Republicans were trying to "steal the election" by shutting down the "legitimate operations" of ACORN.

      I can't trust either one of these fucking political parties.

      • Ok - ACORN is the victim of fraud here - some of its contractors were trying to rip it off by sending in false voter registration to get paid without doing any work. On top of that ACORN flagged most of them as suspicious. So you cannot claim this is an ACORN conspiracy when its a simple contracting fraud. Finally ACRON is not the democratic party. Both parties try and suck up to it from time to time when it suits them.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gd2shoe (747932)
          This isn't the first time this has happened "to" ACORN. Drawing the connection to the Democrat party isn't a stretch. At a minimum, Obama used to work for them. I'm not going to blame ACORN, yet. Let there be an investigation. Yes, I know that phrase is overused, but here it's warranted. Something about their policies or practices is allowing a tendency of fraud.
          • by Uberbah (647458)

            Drawing the connection to the Democrat party isn't a stretch.

            Actually, even Gumby would tear an arm out of it's socket if he tried to reach that far. ACORN is required by law to turn in all registration forms, so they flag the suspicious ones.

            • by gd2shoe (747932)

              Huh?!? Of course they are required to! No duh! We can't have people taking voter registration forms and arbitrarily not turn them in. Nobody has said that they shouldn't turn them in. Argue with what is written if you must, but don't argue against what you wish I had said.

              Stop attacking straw men.

              • by Uberbah (647458)

                Huh?!? Of course they are required to! No duh! We can't have people taking voter registration forms and arbitrarily not turn them in. Nobody has said that they shouldn't turn them in. Argue with what is written if you must, but don't argue against what you wish I had said.

                Um, I am.

                This isn't the first time this has happened "to" ACORN. Drawing the connection to the Democrat party isn't a stretch. At a minimum, Obama used to work for them. I'm not going to blame ACORN, yet. Let there be an investigation. Yes

                • by gd2shoe (747932)

                  Sorry, but you're being selfishly narrow minded. You are also putting words into my mouth and I find that offensive.

                  While "policies or practices" does include turning in every registration form, that is a disingenuous, extremely narrow interpretation of the phrase. It also includes employee training, telling them that they will get caught and fired if they turn in fake records. It involves more than just flagging suspicious records, but firing the employees responsible in a timely manner. It involves ga

      • You incompetent boob. ACORN is required by law to turn in all registration forms, even suspicious ones. The only thing they can do is flag forms they find to be suspicious, which is exactly what they do.

        The so called problems with ACORN are nothing more than baseless Republican talking points, but I repeat myself.

  • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @03:36PM (#25458257) Journal

    Oh no, it got sent registration materials. It did not get registered. The paperwork was sent out based on a request. It is the end of Democracy as we know it!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by stinerman (812158)

      And if Princess registers, she will show up to the polling place and cast a ballot.

      You think anyone would notice Princess isn't a qualified elector?

      • by Straif (172656) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @04:27PM (#25459185) Homepage

        Two words for this line of thinking: Absentee ballot.

        Registration fraud is not just about making it possible to walk in and vote illegally in person, it also about just getting on the rolls so that a ballot can be requested by mail. And with the minimal validations being enforced in most states, it's not all that hard to do. There have already been reported cases of dead people having already voted, both federally and in the primaries.

        Then of course there is the drive by voting trend that seems to be becoming more popular where people just enter a state long enough to register vote and leave (in direct violation of state voting laws). At least 14 cases have already been well documented (one an official Obama campaign worker and 13 others in an Obama associated 'get out the vote' group).

        But to be fair in this stories case, this was more about a voter registration group just bulk mailing forms.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tverbeek (457094)
          This is getting out of hand, to be sure. In some states it's possible to register to vote even if your grandfather wasn't registered! Clearly voter registration requirements have become overly lax since the 19th century.
        • There have already been reported cases of dead people having already voted, both federally and in the primaries.

          Interesting side topic - if you kick the bucket between posting your absentee ballot and election day, is your vote supposed to count? (even if, in practice, nobody ever actually extracts the small number of votes which meet those criteria)

          • by Straif (172656)

            Short answer: sometimes.

            since every state is different it just matters where you live (or used to live).

            In South Dakota, depending on the day of the month you died, then no it doesn't count. If the election happens before the state elections board discovers your dead, which is done by a automated check every couple of weeks, then it would count but in general, if they know you're dead your ballot is dismissed.

            In Florida as long as you were alive when you filled in your ballot then everything is legal.

        • by Neoprofin (871029)
          All I had to do to get my Absentee Ballot was sign a request.

          Once you're on the roles it's as easy as that.
          • by stinerman (812158)

            In Ohio, your SSN, driver's license number, or a copy of a recent utility bill is required to vote absentee.

            I suppose if Princess has a power bill in her name, she may be able to vote.

            • by Neoprofin (871029)
              Where I'm from landline phones, electricity, and water are all valid utilities.

              Since Princess has a phone I wonder if she'll be voting for change?
        • by AndersOSU (873247)

          Newly registered voters have to show id - meaning they can't vote absentee.

          Voter registration fraud != voter fraud.

          I'm more concerned with long lines (hours long) in urban centers of red states than I am with princess voting.

      • by samkass (174571) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @04:31PM (#25459297) Homepage Journal

        It gets even WORSE! Can you believe that some people are distributing BLANK registration forms that let you enter ANY NAME YOU WANT in the "Name" field??1!one! Let's throw out the entire democratic system because it can't possibly be perfect!

        To clarify the summary-- the registration forms (not the actual registration) were sent to the goldfish because the owner had lied about a name on phone records previously, entering the goldfish's name. The goldfish was not registered, and probably could not have come up with the ID (the form required a driver's license # or last-four SSN that matched the name) if it tried.

        Why am I not worried?

  • if election officials actually provided the pet with the ABILITY (aka some form of proof that is acceptable at a voting location) to vote.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by XxtraLarGe (551297)
      The point is that someone would be ABLE to vote on princess's behalf at the voting location. Not all polls care about a voter's ID.
      • by jgtg32a (1173373) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @04:13PM (#25458955)
        because requiring ID is racist
        • by YodaToad (164273)

          Don't forget ageist!

      • So there are polling locations that require NO form of identification (be it a registration card that has been certified and sent by the state, not application materials)? If so, I'm frightened by that more than people widely distributing applications to pets.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by phantomlord (38815)
          No identification is required in NY when you go to the polls... you just sign your name in the register of eligible voters and they conveniently give you a copy of your signature to look at while you do it.
        • by faloi (738831)
          The majority of polling locations require no form of identification. A signature and your word that you are indeed Mickey Mouse is all that's required.
        • by Bartab (233395)

          ID is not required in California, and while a signature is required it is not compared to anything.

          Even in Iraq, they had purple dye for the fingers to stop double voting.

          • That would just be racists against purple skinned people
          • Ahh, Again, This will be my 8th Presidential Election, voting in California, I have lived and voted in 3 counties, and in all cases, probibly 12 to 14 diffrent precints, I have had to show my ID every single time. My signature is compaired to the one on my ID, and was challenged once. ( I was sloppy ).

            Where in California did you vote? Baha?

      • by 2short (466733)
        No, they wouldn't.

        They got sent a registration form with Princess's name helpfully filled in. You can have as many blank registration forms as you like and fill in any name you want. That doesn't mean jack until the registrations get accepted, which in this case, has not even been attempted.
  • Willard? That's my first name (as it's the custom in my family to torture first sons with it for 9 generations now), and I've never heard it on a woman before.

  • Even if the fish had been registered it wouldn't matter. Voter registration fraud or voter registration errors aren't an issue unless actual voting fraud occurs which is much more difficult. None of the erroneously registered or requested to register individuals are going to actually vote.
    • by ArcherB (796902) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @04:03PM (#25458783) Journal

      Even if the fish had been registered it wouldn't matter. Voter registration fraud or voter registration errors aren't an issue unless actual voting fraud occurs which is much more difficult. None of the erroneously registered or requested to register individuals are going to actually vote.

      First, you can't have voter fraud without registration fraud. And once the vote takes place (ballot dropped in box), there is nothing you can do.

      And yes, some of the "erroneously registered" have already voted in Ohio [nypost.com]:

      The New Yorkers and nine other members from across the country are accused of packing themselves into a modest three-bedroom house in Columbus, waiting 30 days - and then registering, even though the Buckeye State is not their permanent residence.

      Under Ohio law, a person who comes to the state for "temporary purposes only," without the intention of making it the "permanent place of abode" is not considered a resident. New permanent residents must live in Ohio 30 days before registering.

      Four group members, including two of the New Yorkers, have already cast ballots, and six others requested absentee ballots from the county elections board.

      So, I guess now it really is voter fraud and NOT just registration fraud!

      I understand Princess the dead gold-fish did not vote, however.

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        First, you can't have voter fraud without registration fraud.

        This is a false statement. People can stuff ballot boxes without registering. As there is no registration needed to do this, there is no registration fraud. Machines can be hacked without registration. Again, since there is no registration, there is no registration fraud.

        I understand that the line "No voter fraud without registration fraud" is one of the talking points of mouth-breathing Republicans, but it is a demonstrably false statement.

        • by Neoprofin (871029)
          Would you settle for "Successful registration fraud would more than likely lead to voter fraud?"
          • He won't settle for anything that doesn't let him insult republicans at the end of his retort.
            • by Uberbah (647458)

              Bumper sticker:

              Republicans ran everything.
              Everything is broken.
              Any questions?

              • by ArcherB (796902)

                Bumper sticker:

                Republicans ran everything.
                Everything is broken.
                Any questions?

                That would be cool, except it would be false. Take the economy for example. It was going great, breaking records even from 2002 to 2006. From 2006 to today, it's gone to shit. What happened in 2006? Oh yeah, the Democrats took over Congress. And anyone who has glanced over the Constitution knows that Congress controls the economy. So, how's this:

                Everything was fine.
                Democrats took Congress.
                Everything is broken.
                Any questions?

                There, fixed that for ya!

                • by tbannist (230135)

                  The economy? Seriously?

                  The economy was only "running" because the government was running huge deficits and interest rates were held abnormally low. The last 8 years should have been some of the best economic years that the U.S. have ever seen with that type of stimulus input.

                  • by ArcherB (796902)

                    The economy? Seriously?

                    The economy was only "running" because the government was running huge deficits and interest rates were held abnormally low. The last 8 years should have been some of the best economic years that the U.S. have ever seen with that type of stimulus input.

                    Really? The gov't is running even higher deficits today. Why are we in a presumed recession, genius?

          • by Uberbah (647458)

            Would you settle for "Successful registration fraud would more than likely lead to voter fraud?"

            No, because that's nonsense. ACORN and other registrars are required by law to hand in all competed forms, even suspicious ones. Republicans have been completely incapable of demonstrating that vote registration fraud leads to vote fraud.

            One reason for this is the fact that in most places you have to either show an ID, sign an affidavit affirming you are who you say you are, or fill out a provisional ballot. S

            • by ArcherB (796902)

              No, because that's nonsense. ACORN and other registrars are required by law to hand in all competed forms, even suspicious ones. Republicans have been completely incapable of demonstrating that vote registration fraud leads to vote fraud.

              Did you not read my previous post? You know, the one where people fraudulently registered and then fraudulently voted?

              One reason for this is the fact that in most places you have to either show an ID, sign an affidavit affirming you are who you say you are, or fill out a provisional ballot. Showing up at the poll both with your 'Mickey Mouse' registration card isn't going to cut it.

              Again, not true. In Ohio, during that week of "register and vote the same day", no ID's were checked because the voters were officially voting "absentee", where ID is not required by law. So, NO, ID's were NOT checked.

              Registration fraud is a molehill next to the mountain of disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of eligible voters. It's how they won in 2000, and it's the only way they can win this year.

              That has been debunked repeatedly over the past 8 years, yet you people keep saying it as if it will somehow make it true.

            • by Neoprofin (871029)
              You might want to read the rest of the threads, there's a pretty long one about how many states, (specifically mentioned: WI, OH, CA) do not require any form of identification at the polls. YOu just tell them who you are and if you're on the list you get a ballot.

              Why, oh why God, would someone successfully commit voter fraud to gain the ability to vote fraudulently and then NOT VOTE FRAUDULENTLY. Just for shits and giggles?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Bull.

      I'd like to point out that I understand that this was just a case of the family getting a registration packet for a fish that was pining for the fjords.

      However, the large influx of fraudulent/comical/garbage registrations that ARE being submitted is using up resources that should be used to remove the following entries:
      1. non-citizens who have driver's licenses, and so (in some states) are automatically registered to vote
      2. felons whose voting rights have been stripped as part of being found guilty, bu

      • by KGIII (973947) *

        I never really understood why a state would take a felon's right to vote away actually. Here in Maine they even encourage inmates to vote and do the absentee ballot for them.

        I got to work on a project that involved automating the request for absentee ballots for incarcerated people, it was tied in with registering to vote as well and inmates who weren't registered would be registered in the town/county of the facility that held them.

        It is my opinion that the vote is such a fundamental right that almost noth

        • But think of the children!!!! If pedophiles could vote, they would be at polling places!!! Some polling places are in people's homes! IF you let felons vote then you are letting pedophiles into people's homes! In fact, you are forcing people to let them into their homes! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! /psychosis
      • by Uberbah (647458)

        You bull.

        However, the large influx of fraudulent/comical/garbage registrations that ARE being submitted is using up resources that should be used to remove the following entries

        Then work to get the federal law changed that requires registrars to hand in all registrations. But that law was passed for a good reason: the potential for abuse. You don't want the KKK doing a registration drive where they throw out forms based on their own arbitrary standards.

        What ACORN can do is check registrations and flag for

    • Haven't you seen the Obama web adds all over the place encouraging people to register and cast their vote all in the same simple process?

      Whoever registered this fish could have went ahead and cast the vote at the same time.

      What's worse than hackable voting machines? A screwed up registration process that can't even tell if you are a dead goldfish. An "erroneous" but valid voter registration will thwart any voting machine.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Dave Walker (9461)
      Guess you missed the part where volunteer poll workers used "leftover" voter registrations at the end of the night to make up for the lack of legitimate votes in both Gary, Indiana and St. Louis, Missouri.

      Voter registration fraud or voter registration errors aren't an issue unless actual voting fraud occurs which is much more difficult. I'm guessing you meant more difficult to prove.

      Oops, guess you missed this too:

      (Albuquerque, NM) - Public records released in New Mexico today confirm that fraudulent

      • Guess you missed the part where volunteer poll workers used "leftover" voter registrations at the end of the night to make up for the lack of legitimate votes in both Gary, Indiana and St. Louis, Missouri.

        Which is a problem with registration, how exactly? If poll workers engage in shenanigans, that's a problem with the poll workers.

        Public records released in New Mexico today confirm that fraudulent voter registrations are in fact turning into fraudulent votes. ACORN, currently under investigation by the F

    • I completely disagree. All aspects of the voting system -- registration, actual voting, tallying -- need to be protected from tampering. Allowing false registration threatens to compromise the entire process, particularly when you consider states with no-ID laws, absentee voting, etc. Whether or not actual voting fraud takes places is not the issue; the fact that the potential for voting fraud exists is, in itself, enough that something should be done about it. After all, isn't this potential for fraud

    • Im bringing my fish to the polls, but how can I get him to vote? All he does is swim eat and poop. Oh. He's a Republican.

  • PETA (Score:5, Funny)

    by moniker127 (1290002) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @03:38PM (#25458311)
    Looks like PETA finally got what they wanted. Damn lobbyists.
  • That's nothing, CowboyNeal even voted in 2004!

  • In Cook County Todd Stroger did even need to win the vote to get in office. Last year some came into the polling saying there dead family member is still on the voting list for years even after calling in about it.

    • I'm registered to vote twice (not intentionally). I registered and voted at age 18 in my parents' city, then went off to college in another state, continuing to vote in my home state via absentee ballot. (I never registered in my temporary state even though they allowed college kids to do so.)

      After college I moved back to my parents' state, in a different city, and registered to vote in my new precinct when I updated my driver's license. Now, eight years later, my name still appears on the voter rolls in

  • I'm already hearing the apologists with their tired story that this is just registration fraud, no evidence of actual election fraud. Nothing to see here, move along.....

    But they are wrong. Most are just repeating Kos talking points and aren't actually in on the scam, but they are useful idiots. So what IS the scam?

    Go check out the CLOWARD-PIVEN STRATEGY [discoverthenetworks.org] for details. Basically the idea is to totally swamp the system so that there is insufficient manpower to detect fraud. So that is a win for them since

  • Are you kidding? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @04:52PM (#25459643) Homepage Journal

    This is Illinois, where' we're so patriotic even being dead doesn't keep us from voting! Being nonhuman doesn't keep us from voting!

    VOTE EARLY! VOTE OFTEN!

    Illinois is home to Al Capone and Richard Daily.

    The last Democrat to be defeated by a Republican went to prison. The last Republican to be defeated by a Democrat is in prison right now. And our present Governor, a Democrat, will likely go to prison himself, as the Feds are scrutinizing him in the Rezco case.

    Both Federal Senators are Democrats. The Governor is a Democrat. The state legislature is mostly Democrat. Obama is from Illinois. Guess who's going to win Illinois by a landslide, dead goldfish or no?

  • Sorry, I must have missed this punditry ... which candidate has the most affinity for the fish electorate in the swing states?

    The great seer, John Cleese, anticipated these problems back in the late 60's early 70's with his passive civil disobedience campaign, demanding a fish license (government ID) for "Eric, the Fish."

    Since it was a "gold"-fish, I suspect that the usual group of Ron Paul supporters will be blamed for this.

  • It's shady business! (Score:2, Informative)

    by socz (1057222)
    This is my experience: When I got my drivers license in my state (a republic) i couldn't swap out the first letter of my second name, which is J on my birth certificate for X. In the end, they're both pronounced exactly the same, but because of "legal issues" i can't have it with an X on my drivers license.

    Go forward in time. I'm now 18 and able to register to vote. So I sign up with X instead of J, wondering if that'll go through EVEN THOUGH my birth certificate, social security number and drivers licen
    • by RogerWilco (99615)

      Maybe you, or someone else can explain why all of this is such a hassle to begin with.

      In my country everyone who turns 18 and is a legal citizen of the country automatically gets a card sent in the mail on each election event, about where they are supposed to vote and how they can do an absentee vote and such.

      Being born automatically means you are eligble to vote 18 years later.

      If you're not issuing birth certificates, then how do you even know if and when someone was born in the USA? If you do, then why is

  • Son, get your shovel. Let's go dig up some votes!

  • Didnt any one get to Poll him before his date with RALPH?
    Huh? ABC? Neilson?

    What was he thinking? Did he vote absentee?
    Comon! Wakey Wakey? Who is the fish voting for?
    What is his views? Is he a Swing voter or a Swim voter?

    Oh He's dead. Must be a ....

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