April 15, 2009

Ballot photograph has voter on thin ice

An unidentified individual is facing up to a year in prison for posting a photo of his ballot for mayor of O'Fallon, Mo., online, officials say.

State and country officials said the punishment for willfully sharing a completed ballot represents a class-four election offense that also comes with a $2,500 fine, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Wednesday.

St. Charles County Elections Director Rich A. Chrismer said he is seeking to prosecute the voter, who tabbed St. Louis Blues player T.J. Oshie, 22, as a write-in candidate for mayor.

They may have thought the photo was cute but it was very serious, Chrismer said of the photo of the ballot that appeared on an Oshie fan Web site.

Chrismer added that voter ballots aren't traceable by name but said he will attempt to learn the voting prankster's identity through the Web site.

You can't violate something as sacred as the ballot, Chrismer told the Post-Dispatch. People won't trust going to a polling place if they think somebody is walking around with a camera.