We are becoming a nation of the lawless.
Sometimes law enforcement or appropriate legal action arrives too late.
This morning, I learned about an election law violator. A call from a contact in Lansing gave me the heads up on a high profile lawbreaker in Traverse City. Apparently, Michael Moore thought it would be good to let people not just know how he voted, but to broadcast the image of his ballot explicitly:
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) November 5, 2016
Gosh, haven’t we been warned incessantly by the media constantly about how showing pictures of our ballots is illegal?
Certainly in Michigan it is.
Michael Moore is registered in the City of Traverse City:
|Fire Station #1|
|500 W Front St|
|Traverse City MI 49684|
|Open: 7:00AM to 8:00PM|
Before getting to the precinct to alert the officials that Moore’s absentee ballot was exposed, I received credentials as a challenger from the Michigan Republican Party. Unfortunately, the precincts are not where the city ballots are delivered, and though we have no way of knowing that the time between the precinct and the clerk’s office was critical, it might well have allowed the vote to be cast in the end.
Clerk Benjamin Marentette though initially surprised by the challenge immediately had the counting process of the AV’s interrupted until he could A. Verify the legitimacy of the Tweet and ballot, and B. the ballot was identified. Unfortunately, it had already passed through the process where the identifier is separated from the ballot, and identifying the ballot became impossible.
It was too late for the appropriate action to be taken.
In this case, an updated version of Section 168.738 ought to be considered to address those times when the balloting officials are looking elsewhere, and one ‘slips by.’ Yes. It happened today. The pertinent section of Michigan’s election law:
MICHIGAN ELECTION LAW (EXCERPT)
168.738 Voting; ballots; folding; deposit in ballot box; rejection for exposure.
(1) Before leaving the booth or voting compartment, the elector shall fold his or her ballot or each of the ballots so that no part of the face shall be exposed, and with the detachable corner on the outside. Upon leaving the booth, the elector shall at once deliver in public view the ballot or ballots to the inspector designated to receive the ballot or ballots. Except as provided in subsection (2), the inspector shall tear off the corner of the ballot, where perforated, containing the number and shall then in the presence of the elector and the board of inspectors deposit each ballot in the proper ballot box without opening the ballot.
(2) If an elector shows his or her ballot or any part of the ballot to any person other than a person lawfully assisting him or her in the preparation of the ballot or a minor child accompanying that elector in the booth or voting compartment under section 736a, after the ballot has been marked, to disclose any part of the face of the ballot, the ballot shall not be deposited in the ballot box, but shall be marked “rejected for exposure”, and shall be disposed of as are other rejected ballots. If an elector exposes his or her ballot, a note of the occurrence shall be entered on the poll list opposite his or her name and the elector shall not be allowed to vote at the election.
Why do I post this?
Because in the end, Moore is a scofflaw, causing the process to be corrupted as the rule is written. By exposing his actual ballot to impress others he openly corrupted the process of the secret ballot, and will get away with it like others so much like him.
Perhaps it is time to remove this law, or perhaps not.
In the interim however, we should perhaps take this as signalling the norm of those laws that “be for thee, and not for me” that we see in the Democrat party, both nationally, and now apparently on a local level.