Dog days

Awhile back, we told you about Duncan, the Australian shepherd-terrier mix in Federal Way, Wash., who last year became eligible to vote.

Well, not really. Dogs can’t vote.

And that was the point of his owner, Jane Balogh.

Ms. Balogh was out to prove that Washington’s liberal voter registration laws were an invitation to fraud. So she filled out a registration form for Duncan, even identifying him as a canine, and sent it in to be processed.

Sure enough, Duncan made the voter rolls.

Ms. Balogh then went public with her prank, telling a number of elected officials what she’d done. They weren’t amused.

Ms. Balogh was charged with making a false statement on a government form — even though she never claimed Duncan was a human. But last week, a judge dismissed the charges after Duncan’s owner showed that she had paid $240 in court costs and completed community service.

It is an article of faith among many, particularly on the left, that the integrity of the democratic process should take a back seat to efforts to increase voter participation. Ms. Balogh’s stunt highlights the dangers when that perspective becomes policy.

Did Duncan’s case result in any substantive tightening of Washington’s lax registration laws? Hardly. Officials in that state are apparently content to let every dog have his day.

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