Cat bites voting machine

A voter uses a paperweight to express his feelings about touch-screen voting, and a poll worker uses his hands to express his feelings about voters.

Katharine Mieszkowski
November 8, 2006 4:50AM (UTC)

Like many voters this Election Day, Michael Young, 43, doesn't really trust electronic voting machines. In fact, the registered Independent in Allentown, Pa., reportedly feared that the Republicans are out to steal the election using electronic ballots. So, instead of voting, Young took out one touch-screen machine with a cat paperweight.

Around 12:30 p.m., Young went to his polling place at a local nursing home, checked in with poll workers and proceeded to pummel the screen of the machine with the paperweight, according to the Morning Call. "He smashed it with the cat's ears," said witness Jim Govostis. Young then hung his head, and waited for police to arrive to arrest him. He'll be charged with felony criminal mischief and tampering with voting machines.


No votes were harmed in the incident; according to the county's chief clerk all votes already registered on the machine were saved. The $5,000 machine didn't fare as well; it will have to be replaced.

Young wasn't the only one arrested at the polls today. A poll worker in Louisville, Ky., allegedly choked a voter, according to the Associated Press. The dispute began when a voter said he didn't want to cast a ballot in a judicial election, because he didn't know enough about the candidates, but the poll worker insisted, and then throttled him.

Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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