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Monday, November 30, 2015

Even dogs can vote?!?!?!

Just kidding.  I haven't found anywhere in the country that actually allows animals to vote, despite some claims that dogs have registered and voted.  In fact, allegations of dogs voting -- including a springer-spaniel named Ritzy Mekler -- was one of the arguments behind the initial push for voter ID laws.  Senator Kit Bond claimed that Ritzy Mekler voted in St. Louis elections in 2000, and he was the author and primary supporter of the voter ID rule put into the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002.  (Bond's arguments were largely debunked.)  Various states, including Indiana and Georgia, followed suit with their own, stricter state-level versions, and the rest, they say, is history.  I recount this history of voter ID requirements in a chapter of the new Election Law Stories book, due out sometime next spring.  (I am a co-editor of the book, along with Gene Mazo.) Forget holiday shopping; it will make a great May Day gift next year!

If you've enjoyed this discussion of election law this month, particularly on local election rules, please come to the AALS Section on Election Law panel, which is titled "Election Law at the Local Level."  We have a great group of speakers that will address various aspects of local control over elections.  It is on Friday, Jan. 8 at 10:30.

Vote early, vote often (well, as often as there are elections, but vote only once in each of them!).  Thanks for a fun month.  I'll see you all (virtually) soon.

Posted by Josh Douglas on November 30, 2015 at 12:27 PM in Law and Politics | Permalink

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