Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Is it illegal to drink and vote?

Came across this article. Apparently an Albuquerque woman was so intoxicated that she passed out at a polling station, causing confusion to the police over whether that was illegal or not. Normal citations aside (Drunk and Disorderly, Creating a Nuisance, etc.), is it illegal to vote while drunk? I poked around quickly, didn't come across much. Apparently in Illinois, intoxication doesn't qualify you for voting assistance at the polling booth, so you're on your drunken own when it comes to checking those ballot boxes. I would assume there's general requirements of mental capacity to vote in most states, but usually those are tacked on to some kind of court ordered guardianship.

So it's probably not illegal to vote drunk, just stupid. And traditional. Looking to history, back in the day elections were a time for everyone to come out of the countryside to the towns. There they'd have a big party, usually put on by one local party or politician, and everyone would eat and discuss and drink, and then go vote for their swell host. It's in this tradition that we host our own Election Day party every two years, I just hope most of my guests drink after they vote... :)

No word yet whether New Mexico counted the Albuquerque woman's vote for: "Thhhe one wiffth tha thiiings. 'You knowwwww, the thinngsss onnnn. I likes himmm. *hiccup* *THUD*"

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The Twentyfirst Amendment Meets the 21st Century by Russell Hews Everett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. The opinions expressed on this page are purely my own, and should not be taken to constitute legal representation or advice.