Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Acorn Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree

Here's a story I got from one of my correspondents. It shows you why concern over potential vote fraud may have been overblown:

This morning I drove by 2 polling places in the South End between 7:10 and 7:15. There were orderly lines of 150-200 people out the door and around the block, and no visible sign of campaign workers. When I had no choice, in 2000, I voted absentee for the first time, and have continued to do so (possibly illegally, since I certify that I'll be away) ever since for 2 reasons; first, it's wicked convenient and I never miss voting in smaller elections. Second, I have found the campaign workers in Jamaica Plain particularly obnoxious. It's unpleasant to be accosted on the way to vote by people shoving small pieces of paper at me. It's also illegal to even hold a sign within 150 feet of a polling place. Massachusetts General law chapter 56, section 29 says you can be fined $500, but apparently no one enforces this law in JP.

There's a regular panhandler outside of the Dunkin Donuts where I get my coffee each morning. Today I asked him if he was registered to vote. He said that he had registered as homeless at the Pine Street Inn, that they gave him a yellow piece of paper to take to the polls with him, and that he had lost it along with his T pass, wallet, and ID. He asked me if I thought he could still vote. I said that I didn't know, and that his best bet would be to ask someone at Pine Street. "Yes," he said. "I'm going to go there as soon as I finish work."

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