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No trial in dog voter registration

September 07, 2007|From the Associated Press

SEATTLE — A woman who faced up to 90 days in jail for registering her dog to vote has agreed to a deal that could remove the charge from her record.

Jane Balogh, 66, won't be prosecuted on the charge of making a false or misleading statement to a public servant if she does 10 hours of community service, pays a $250 fine and avoids violating the law for the next year, District Judge Mariane C. Spearman said Wednesday.

Balogh registered her Australian shepherd-terrier mix, Duncan, to vote in April 2006 by putting her telephone bill in the dog's name and using that as identification when she mailed the form to election officials. She said she did it to protest a change in the law that she believed made it too easy for noncitizens to vote.

In November she wrote "VOID" on the first ballot sent to the dog and returned it with an image of a paw print on the signature line. An election official called and she admitted what she had done, but the dog still was sent ballots for school bond elections in February and May.

Duncan M. McDonald was removed from the voter rolls in July, three weeks after the charge was filed against Balogh, who pleaded not guilty.

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