Toilet Humor: Felony Crime or Just a Joke?
An election official in Michigan says a protest sign in a person's front yard that displays a message that says "Place Mail In Ballots Here" with an arrow pointing to a nearby toilet is actually against the law, and could be a felony crime.
The sign (simulated in the photo above) is on display at a home in Mason, Michigan, a small bedroom community about 15 miles south of Lansing, in the south central part of the state.
Of course it's just an attempt at humor (most everything to do with toilets is usually funny). But who wants to do hard time for making a bathroom joke?
The concern is that the display could create a confusing situation, one that could lead to someone actually dropping a ballot off inside the commode.
On Friday, Michigan TV station WILX reported that Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum said the display should be considered illegal, since it is unlawful to take possession of an official absentee mail in ballot. Unless you are authorized to do that.
It is a felony to take illegal possession of an absentee ballot (voted or unvoted) according to Michigan Compiled Law 168.932(f). Felonies of this kind are punishable by a fine of $1,000.00 or 5 years in prison.
WILX says the homeowner was not available for comment, but Byrum added that according to Michigan public records, that homeowner has voted absentee ballot several times in the past.