At 22 years old, St. Louis Blues rookie sensation T.J. Oshie doesn't meet the age requirements to be mayor of St. Louis. But that didn't stop a fan blog called Vote 4 Oshie from organizing a hastily crafted campaign to have fans write in Oshie's name for last Tuesday's mayoral elections around Missouri.
Alas, it would appear that he fell a few votes short. But the campaign was so inspirational that a Blues fan actually wrote Oshie's name on a ballot in last Tuesday's O'Fallon, Mo. mayoral election and then proudly photographed it before having the image posted on Vote 4 Oshie.
Surprise, surpise: This is all actually quite illegal, according to county election officials. From the Post-Dispatch:
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The punishment is more than just a few minutes in the penalty box: Willfully sharing the contents of a completed ballot is a class-four election offense in Missouri, carrying up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
The St. Charles County Election Authority is taking a hard stance against using the ballot box to display fan loyalty. The Oshie voter "violated the law, and I'm going to prosecute," county elections director Rich A. Chrismer said. "They may have thought the photo was cute, but it was very serious."
St. Louis County elections director Joseph Goeke told the Dispatch that the regulation was written back in 1977 to discourage the buying or selling of votes. County officials said they intended to contact Vote 4 Oshie's site administrator in an attempt to find out who photographed the O'Fallon mayoral ballot.
Write-in votes aren't usually counted unless an individual has declared his or her candidacy, but it would appear Oshie fell short in O'Fallon's election, too. Oshie was asked before last night's 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals what he thought about his political career back in St. Louis:
"I haven't heard anything about (the election)," Oshie said. "I don't know how political I am, so I don't know how good I would be on making too many decisions. But I like the fan support."
With that, we begin the countdown to the Oshie 2012 political action committee. Thanks to Jeff and St. Louis Game Time for the tips.