Voters Gone Wild

When we were working on the Cuyahoga County incident reports from the May primary election, Rod Kiewiet at Caltech coined the phrase “Voters Gone Wild” for the crazy things that voters do in the election. (Our favorite that kept happening: voters upset they had to declare a party preference to vote in a partisan primary election!)

Well, it is early, but I think we have a winner in this election’s voter gone wild contest from this article in the Chicago Tribune (we blogged about the winning poll worker earlier)……

A man who reportedly believed Republicans were conspiring to steal today’s election entered an Allentown polling site, signed in and proceeded to smash the screen of one of the electronic voting machines with a metal cat paperweight, poll volunteers said. Michael Young, 43, of 375 Auburn St., will be charged with felony criminal mischief and tampering with voting machines, according to Ronald Manescu, chief of investigations for Allentown police.

Police gave no motive, but a source said Young, a registered Independent, believed Republicans had conspired to win the election by using electronic ballots. This is the first time electronic machines are being widely used in a Pennsylvania general election.

“He smashed it with the cat’s ears,” said volunteer Jim Govostis, who watched the incident unfold at Raker Center, a nursing home owned by Good Shepherd, around 12:30 p.m. Young, who brought the paperweight with him, then sat down, hung his head and waited for police, who arrested him without incident.

“He came in here very peaceably and showed his ID,” said volunteer Gladys Pezoldt, “then he got on the machine and just snapped…He was immediately remorseful. When the police came, he got up, turned around and put his hands behind his back.”