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Telegram: A city man who admitted violating state election laws by casting a ballot in someone else’s name in the 2013 municipal election was ordered by a judge today to pay $1,000 in court costs and perform 200 hours of community service at the local veterans’ shelter. A voter fraud charge against Mark A. Atlas, 53, of 6 Rice Square, was continued without a finding for one year Wednesday in Central District Court after Mr. Atlas admitted to sufficient facts for a guilty finding.
His lawyer, Robert A. Perrone, told Judge Michael G. Allard-Madaus that Mr. Atlas gave his former boss, Richard Suchocki, a ride to the Greenwood Street polling place on Nov. 5, 2013, so that Mr. Suchocki could vote in the city election. Mr. Suchocki, who has since died, was the owner of Massachusetts Pest Elimination and Mr. Atlas was working for him at the time, the defense lawyer said. Mr. Atlas, who was not a registered voter, accompanied Mr. Suchocki into the polling place. At his boss’s urging, Mr. Atlas identified himself as another individual who was known to both men and cast a ballot under that person’s name as “a joke,” according to Mr. Perrone.
The police investigation that led to the charges against Mr. Atlas and Mr. Suchocki was launched after the person in whose name Mr. Atlas had voted showed up at the polling place to cast his ballot, Assistant District Attorney John A. O’Leary told the court. Mr. Perrone described his client’s action as a “foolhardy,” but said Mr. Atlas was not paid and was not attempting to influence the results of the election on behalf of any particular candidate or party.
“Stupidity is the answer,” the defense lawyer said.
“They basically said it was a joke. It’s not a joke. It’s a fundamental American right to vote, and to steal that vote from another person is a significant breach,” the assistant district attorney said. Mr. O’Leary said there was no evidence to suggest that Mr. Atlas’ action was anything other than an ill-advised prank.
Mr. Perrone asked the judge to continue the charge, a felony punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment, without a finding.
“You understand the offensive nature of this?” Judge Allard-Madaus asked the defendant.
“It’s tantamount to tampering with war heroes’ graveyards,” the judge said, adding that many have died defending the rights of Americans, including the right to vote.
He continued the charge without a finding for one year, during which time Mr. Atlas will be on supervised probation. As conditions of probation, Mr. Atlas was ordered to pay $1,000 in court costs and perform 200 hours of community service at Veterans Inc. on Grove Street.
The judge said the community service would allow Mr. Atlas to “pay back the heroes who have paid for the franchise of voting with their blood.”
I’ve been waiting for something like this to happen for a long, long time. Why? Because it points out the most obvious thing we need that morons won’t allow us to implement – voter ID laws.
When I went to vote for the first time I was all ready to show them my ID. I was proud to be 18 and couldn’t wait to shove my license in someone’s face who thought I couldn’t buy cigarettes, scratch tickets, or lap dances. But when I got up to the 95 year old woman working the books she didn’t ask for my ID. Instead she asked for my address. Instead of looking in a database to see if my name matched the right address she thumbed through a book they’ve probably been using since 1952 until she found my address.
Then instead of asking me what my name was, she asked me if I was in fact Turtleboy. I told her I was and she crossed my name off with a red colored pencil and handed me a ballot. All I could think was, “What the hell just happened? This is how democracy works? I could’ve been voting since I was 12.”
And it’s true. Any idiot can go into a polling place, and there is at least a 95% chance that the person running the books is at least 95 years old. Then all that idiot has to do is pick a name. Any name. Because there is literally a book full of names and addresses in front of you, and they don’t try to hide it either. People who have already voted are crossed off in a red color pencil. People who haven’t aren’t. All you have to do is pick someone who hasn’t.
One day I went to my polling place at Temple Emmanuel and found out I was not on the list. I used to move around a lot so I always forgot where I was registered to vote. The problem was it was 7:45 so I didn’t have time to find out before polls closed at 8. So what did the lady do? She must’ve just said to herself, “fuck it,” because she’d been working there since 8 AM without a break, and she gave me a ballot.
But the day that I realized what a farce elections are around here is the day I went in to vote and found out that someone had already voted using my name. Ya got that? Someone caught onto my scheme before I did. Since no one votes around here unless Barrack Obama is on the ballot I looked down at all these names that didn’t have a red colored pencil line across them. I could literally pick any name I wanted to if I felt like it and no one would be allowed to question me since it’s illegal to have to show your ID to vote for some reason. But I didn’t feel like committing fraud because I was in the right. Once again, rather than cause a stink the nice old lady just gave me another ballot.
My question is, if this has happened to me twice, and it’s THAT easy to commit voter fraud, how often does this happen? I’ve gotten into arguments with morons about the need for voter ID’s a million times before. They always say the same things:
“There’s no need to disenfranchise poor people over a non-existent issue. There have not been any documented cases of voter fraud in this country to call for such a reform.”
Yea, no shit there haven’t been any documented cases. Gee, I wonder why that is? Oh yea, because it’s impossible to get caught. The only reason this muff from Greenwood Street got caught was because he admitted it and thought it was funny. This guy should be given a medal instead of community service because he illustrated that our electoral process is a joke. Instead we’re punishing him. Oh yea, THAT will make this problem go away. Punish the idiot who showed you how dumb your system is.
Back when I was in college I could break into any dorm room I wanted to. Don’t worry, I only used it on mine because I lost my key and didn’t feel like paying $3.50 for a new one. It was so easy. All you needed was a card. Any credit card or ID would do. But UMass was smart. I told my RA about it and instead of punishing me like they did to this dope from Greenwood Street, they hired me. I got to go around with their maintenance guy door-to-door while he installed new locks on every room. After he’d finish he’d have me test out my card method. If it still worked he adjusted it until I couldn’t break in. Problem solved.
What’s dumb about the voter ID thing is it’s turned into a political thing, which is another example of why politics sucks. Republicans and democrats alike should agree that the electoral process should be taken seriously and be legitimate. I thought this was the case until I started arguing with people about it. Guess what they called me? You got it – RACIST!!
What does this have to do with race? Well apparently a lot of geniuses out there think that it’s impossible for poor people to get an ID, and since black people in America make less money on average, it is discriminatory against them. Huh? How can ANYONE survive in 2015 without an ID? How is that even possible? At Gillette Stadium they turn down 70 year old’s who don’t have ID. And that’s for something as meaningless as drinking a beer. That doesn’t actually matter.
But elections? Those are supposed to fucking matter!!! There isn’t a single person in the United States of America who can’t get an ID tomorrow if they want to. None. If you can’t scrap together $15 to get an ID card then you’re a liar. Because obviously you can. How did you eat today without $15? How did you pay for the toilet paper to wipe your ass without $15? Please, someone explain me to me why we should keep our elections a joke because hypothetically some guy in Mississippi won’t be able to afford in ID in 2015.
Anyway, the district attorney basically made my point for me when he said this about the defendants:
“They basically said it was a joke. It’s not a joke. It’s a fundamental American right to vote, and to steal that vote from another person is a significant breach.”
Newsflash – he didn’t steal the vote from anyone. Both guys got to vote. Both votes counted in the results. Yes, they said it was a joke, because it is in face a joke. It’s a joke that the state has to pay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to prosecute and investigate this “crime” which could easily be fixed if we required ID to vote. This guy didn’t do anything wrong except expose the fact that your system is the party that is actually the joke here. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.
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