Diatribe: Minnesota Grandmother Charged With Voter Fraud After Inadvertently Casting Two Ballots.
I’m sometimes forgetful. I admit it.
In my teens, when I first learned to drive, I would sometimes visit my grandparents in the evenings. We would play cards, eat snacks and enjoy our time together. When I eventually left their house for the short drive home, I was always instructed to “call when you get there so we don’t worry”. After I failed to call several times, my grandmother began to twist a wire bread-tie around my finger so that I would remember to call her when I got home. Many a morning I woke up with one of those things wrapped around my finger having forgotten to call when I got home the night before.
Over the years I’ve had to alter my habits to adjust for a bit of forgetfulness. My car keys are now always set in the same place when I get home and my wallet always goes on the corner of my dresser. My routine is relatively consistent and the only thing that I misplace on a regular basis is my cell phone. (Who among us hasn’t called our own number and listed for our cell phone in order to find it?) There are also many, many, many Post-It note reminders in my life.
I can’t imagine what it must be like to live with both dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
Margaret Schneider of St. Peter, Minnesota suffers from both. Yet, the 86-year-old woman, who struggles to remember the names of her grandchildren, has been charged with voter fraud after casting two ballots during last year’s presidential election. While she’s never so much as had a parking ticket, she’s now fighting a felony charge with a possible fine of $10,000 and a five-year prison sentence. Last summer, Schneider mailed an absentee ballot, forgot that she had done so, and then voted a second time in person.
Give the old lady a break! She forgot!
When I vote in person, there a long list of “I”s to dot and “T”s to cross and I’m quite confident that I would not be allowed to vote a second time. Someone besides Grandma Schneider dropped the ball here. Yes, a second vote was accidentally cast, but it wasn’t intentional and it seems severe to subject her to the same standards as those who knowingly commit the very serious crime of voter fraud.
“Why didn’t [poll workers] tell me to go home? That’s what I’m trying to figure out.” – Margaret Schneider
The county attorney insists that she’s required by law to file charges against Schneider but no one is interested in sending her to jail.
Perhaps if I use more Post-It notes I can curb my forgetfulness. Or, better yet, it might be time for me to adopt a place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place attitude at home. I’d always know where to find things and my house would always be clean.
Are YOU forgetful?
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