President Donald Trump has never been one to go down without putting up a fight. Therefore, even when he won in 2016, he said that he had won the popular vote because most of the people who voted were illegal immigrants. Trump did not have any proof of the allegations, and now that Americans are heading to the polls again, he is at it again. He has declared that mail-in ballots favor Democrats, and they are the easiest way to cheat, especially during the pandemic. Once again, the claims are not supported by any evidence. Still, that has not stopped the President from mobilizing the Republicans in fighting against such fraud. However, now that one deceased cat has received voter registration in the mail, the President may now have every reason to cry foul if things do not go his way. Check out the story of the deceased cat as well as other strange recipients of voter registration applications.
12 years too late?
Cody Tims, a feline that belonged to Ron and Carol Tims, died 12 years ago, having lived to a ripe old age of 18 years. He still has a special place in the hearts of his humans holding on to him through his ashes that they store in a green container. Therefore, it was much of a surprise to Ron when he went to collect his mail and found something addressed to his deceased cat. On opening it, he found a voter registration application, which further amused the family with Carol wondering how far people are willing to go, to register voters. According to Fox 5, Carol Tims speculated that if her deceased cat had received such mail, then most probably even other pets had too.
However, the Secretary of State’s office is adamant that the mail did not originate from them. Instead, it is blaming third parties in Georgia who are desperate to register as many qualified people. To further show their stand, the office declared they are fighting against such fraud by conducting thorough investigations. They added that even if Cody were alive and registered, it would be impossible for him to vote without having a state-issued ID. All the same, as President Trump worried, Cody was a devout Democrat, and if he had gotten the chance to vote, the Republicans would be less one vote.
Even dogs have been asked to register
If you thought Carol and Ron were the only pet owners who are sent forms for their deceased pets, you would be surprised to learn that it happens quite often. In 2018, MaryAnn Lucero received mail and was shocked to see it was addressed to Moco, her Boston Terrier, that passed away in 2000. According to KHOU, Mary reacted in the same way as Carol; in bewilderment and amusement. The letter, from VPC (Voter Participation Center), said that Moco Lucero was a resident of Denver but was yet to appear in the register of voters. Hence, it asked the addressee to disregard the notice if he was ineligible to vote or had already been registered. Of course, since Moco was ineligible, MaryAnn did not fill out the application form, but what nagged her was how the group obtained her dog’s name. She, however, suspected that her late husband, who had a quirky sense of humor, had used Moco’s name to sign a form.
She was right to assume that because Kevin McAlister, VPC’s Communication Director, explained that since states do not have the list of unregistered individuals, they have to take the initiative of using any means necessary people to register. Therefore, the group uses commercially available databases to target prospective voters. For instance, in 2012, VPC sent another voter application form to a dog having obtained his name from a magazine subscription. They, however, said they keep improving the process, and after knowing that Moco was dead, he was removed from the list. Kevin added it was not their goal to have pets registered as voters.
Is it easy to register a pet to vote?
When VPC kept sending mail to dead pets to register as voters, the group came out clearly, saying that they were working tirelessly to ensure only the right people got the mail. While MaryAnn’s case was in 2018, Metcalfe’s, was in 2016, which begs the question of how seriously the VPC is in improving its mailing list. Therefore although one lawyer, Richard Hansen, said that such opportunities would rarely be used by pet owners to register illegally, some people have found it as a chance to show the loopholes in the voter registration process.
Thomas Tolbert decided to see if he could get his dog, Buddy, registered as a voter. Therefore, when he came across a voter registration booth, he thought it was the perfect opportunity to test the laxity of the process. After registering Buddy as a Democrat, Thomas received Buddy’s registration card despite using made-up birth date and social security number. It took only two weeks, and he wanted to crack a joke and expose how easy it could be to conduct voter fraud.
Unfortunately, the County Clerk was not amused by the joke that Thomas pulled off, and she said that it was still a felony. Therefore the investigations were conducted aiming to subject Thomas to the law if he was found guilty of breaking the law despite his intention of making a joke. A person found guilty of voter fraud can face different penalties depending on the state; in Connecticut, if you vote more than once or without being legally qualified, you are subject to one-year imprisonment, $500 fine, and disenfranchisement. In some states, one is liable for a $10,000 fine and sentenced to five years in prison. Luckily, voter fraud is rare, and the President does not have to lose sleep over it.