After Missouri took aim at Christians as being right-wing nuts, I saw this article on Yahoo News:
“At 22 years old, St. Louis Blues rookie sensation T.J. Oshie doesn’t meet the age requirements to be mayor of St. Louis. But that didn’t stop a fan blog called Vote 4 Oshie from organizing a hastily crafted campaign to have fans write in Oshie’s name for last Tuesday’s mayoral elections around Missouri.
Alas, it would appear that he fell a few votes short. But the campaign was so inspirational that a Blues fan actually wrote Oshie’s name on a ballot in last Tuesday’s O’Fallon, Mo. mayoral election and then proudly photographed it before having the image posted on Vote 4 Oshie.
Surprise, surpise: This is all actually quite illegal, according to county election officials. From the Post-Dispatch:
The punishment is more than just a few minutes in the penalty box: Willfully sharing the contents of a completed ballot is a class-four election offense in Missouri, carrying up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
The St. Charles County Election Authority is taking a hard stance against using the ballot box to display fan loyalty. The Oshie voter “violated the law, and I’m going to prosecute,” county elections director Rich A. Chrismer said. “They may have thought the photo was cute, but it was very serious.”
St. Louis County elections director Joseph Goeke told the Dispatch that the regulation was written back in 1977 to discourage the buying or selling of votes. County officials said they intended to contact Vote 4 Oshie’s site administrator in an attempt to find out who photographed the O’Fallon mayoral ballot”
Apparently, Joseph Goeke hasn’t heard of the First Amendment, which will likely quickly trounce any attempted prosecution. With any luck, if there is government action, after it is dismissed the fan will sue Goeke for infringing his constitutional rights with a frivolous issue.
Maybe he’ll also get some free hockey tickets.