Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Voter registration shenanigans

Only in New Mexico …

It is probably true that most states have some irregularities in voter registration. Organizations such as ACORN have hired people to register voters and given these hires commissions based on the number of voters they register. Even though ACORN officially forbids fabricated registrations, putting people on commission gives them a strong motivation to fudge things a little.

But New Mexico has more odd things going on than most states. For example, we have had a law on the books that forbids idiots from registering to vote. The state legislature has attempted to overturn that one for a while, but last I heard, the efforts hadn't been successful.

Meanwhile, the legislature attempted to enact legislation that would allow a county clerk to remove a person from the voting rolls if that person died. That proposal failed. This means that there are only two circumstances under which a person gets removed from the rolls – either the person is convicted of a felony, or the person fails to vote in eight straight elections. If a dead person continues to vote, he or she remains on the rolls.

A couple of summers ago, Gerald got a job as a canvasser for a political candidate. He went around Albuquerque, from neighborhood to neighborhood, knocking on doors of registered party members to encourage them to get out and vote for the candidate. It was an eye-opening experience. In many cases, the voter no longer lived at that address. In some cases, the voter had died – one of them had been dead for eight years. He was sent to an apartment complex where many registered party members supposedly lived, only to find that the apartment complex had been torn down a long time before. He also found a large number of voters with registration addresses that turned out to be motel rooms.

In Rio Arriba County, things get even fishier. There was one election in which a candidate's campaign worker showed up at the poll with a large number of highly intoxicated persons. These voters were literally falling-down drunk, and they needed the campaign worker's help to stand up. Because the Americans with Disabilities Act allows someone to assist a disabled person, the campaign worker was allowed into the voting booth with each of the drunks.

Lately, it appears that our cat, Dulce, has been registered to vote. She just got a letter from Joe Biden that started out "Dear Fellow Democrat," and followed with a summary of the party's initiatives and a request for contributions to support the party's efforts. Well, she certainly is not an idiot, so she can't be disqualified on that point, but she's not quite old enough to vote yet – she's only 15. Unless one counts in cat-years … then she'd be a wise old lady.

We had a home burglary a few months ago. In Albuquerque, there has been an identity-theft ring that has bought bills and bank statements from home burglars, run credit checks, and then stolen the identities of the most credit-worthy burglary victims. Pat and I didn't pass the credit check, but maybe ACORN was willing to buy Dulce's information from the burglars.

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Blogger Carol Anne said...

FWIW, the 70,000th visitor to this site was somebody from New Jersey with a punctuation question.

Thu Mar 18, 01:01:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Tillerman said...

I don't think you need to be registered to vote to get letters begging for money from political parties. I get them all the time and I'm an alien (with a birth certificate to prove it.)

Thu Mar 18, 03:43:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Capt. Puffy said...

A Black Lab who once graced our lives received an application for a credit card once, she was pre-approved of course, based on her outstanding credit score. I was very tempted to accept that one, on her behalf of course. I always wondered who they would try to collect from or who's credit score would take the hit.

Sat Mar 20, 06:44:00 AM MDT  
Blogger O Docker said...

Dulce must be putting on a few pounds, Carol Anne. Party honchos usually focus their fundraising efforts on fat cats.

Sat Mar 20, 01:25:00 PM MDT  
Blogger bonnie said...

Mistie, the dog I had when I was a kid, entered the Publishers Clearinghouse sweepstakes once.

Mon Mar 22, 03:38:00 PM MDT  

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