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Resident Discovers that Voting Has Gone to Dogs

By Dan McKay
Journal Staff Writer
       Don Pizzolato didn't expect his dog to end up registered to vote.
    Sure, he filled out the paperwork after he was approached a few years ago at Wal-Mart. But the Social Security number and birth date Pizzolato made up for his dog were fake.
    "I fully expected the form to be returned to me," Pizzolato said Wednesday in an interview.
    Instead, he received a voter registration card in the mail a few weeks later. Now, with all the debate over registration fraud, Pizzolato is going public with the tale of his dog, Tuckup Koepke.
    "I just have one data point to go off of, but in my opinion, if it's this easy to thwart the system, I'm sure it's not an isolated case," Pizzolato said.
    But his dog isn't actually going to vote.
    County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver saw Pizzolato's story on the Duke City Fix Web site, and the county contacted law enforcement authorities. Registration fraud is a fourth-degree felony.
    Election workers check registrations for obvious problems, she said, such as whether the Social Security number on the card is already in use by someone else on the rolls. But state and federal laws limit how far the county can go to check people out.
    About 1,500 suspicious cards altogether this year haven't been entered into the system, and Oliver has met with the FBI about them.