If you want to vote, don't bark

In the United States, voting is viewed as a duty and civic privilege, so registering to vote is to be encouraged. Well, most of the time. Election officials in King County, Wash., were hardly thrilled when Jane Balogh registered her dog Duncan. Balogh was trying to make a point, namely that a loophole in the registration law made it a snap for even a nonexistent "person" – yes, even a canine – to cast a ballot.

Balogh didn't hide the news of her coup, going so far as to tell elected officials that she'd added her Australian shepherd-terrier mix to the voting rolls. What did her impudence get her? Banishment to the legal doghouse for making a false statement.

Recently, however, a county judge determined that Balogh had paid a sufficient price by completing her community service and forking over $240 in court costs. The charge was dismissed. Duncan, by the way, never actually voted, which is a good thing when you remember that Washington's last gubernatorial election was decided by only 133 votes after a third recount.

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