Melowese Richardson, Ohio poll worker, doesn’t understand why she’s being investigated for voter fraud. Oh, she voted at least twice, no doubt about that, and she doesn’t deny it: According to Hamilton County records, Richardson’s absentee ballot was filed on Nov. 1, 2012 along with her signature. Later, she told an official she also voted at a precinct polling place because she was afraid her absentee ballot would not be counted in time. Double voting is something of a family tradition, for Richardson’s granddaughter, India Richardson, also cast two ballots in November, her first time as a voter. Melowese sees nothing wrong with any of this, or this either: absentee ballots for Montez Richardson, Joseph Jones and Markus Barron all came from Richardson’s Whetsel Avenue address, were received by the board the same time as Richardson’s, and the handwriting on all four of them was similar.
“Markus Barron lives here. Joseph Jones is my brother. He’s here from time-to-time. I am Montez’s power-of-attorney. I voted for her in her absence,” said Richardson. “There’s absolutely no intent on my part to commit voter fraud.” Indeed, she feels persecuted by the voter fraud charges that she will likely face, and vows to fight them. “I’ll fight it for Mr. Obama and for Mr. Obama’s right to sit as president of the United States,” she says.
Certainly Ms. Richardson is unique, since, as we were lectured repeatedly by Democrats and the media before the election, there is no such thing as voter fraud and efforts to prevent the kind of practice Richardson’s entire family apparently engages in without hesitation or remorse are simply racist efforts to suppress voting by minorities. She and her grandaughter are rare and miraculous living manifestations of otherwise mythical entities, like unicorns. With that caveat, however, her rationalizations are instructive.
She views voting as a casual sort of game, like the lottery: the more you vote, the surer you are that you’ll have a vote counted! Who can argue with that? The fact that the naive among us believe that one vote per citizen is sufficient (as well as the legal limitation) is really our problem, and if Melowese Richardson’s careful judgments regarding candidates for office have two, or three, or five times as much influence in elections as her less dedicated neighbors, why, how is that her fault? Thanks to the lack of sufficient monitoring of absentee votes and the lack of voter ID requirements, the neighbors have as much opportunity to cast multiple votes as she does. Don’t tell Melowese it is isn’t “fair.”
She also nicely demonstrates the ethical jujitsu that “the ends justifies the means” philosophy achieves. Since her multiple votes are directed at asserting Barack Obama’s right to be president—not privilege, now, but right—well, her multiplicity of ballots is as noble as fighting at Bunker Hill and marching at Selma.
She probably thinks we’re the ethics dunces. In fact, I’m sure she does.