Chicago Sends Voter Registration Papers to Dead Fish

  • Published on October 21st, 2008

The Illinois voter registration materials sent to “Princess Nudelman,” a deceased pet goldfish, have stirred up some controversy in the hometown of Barack Obama.

[social_buttons]I think it’s time for a little humor in these final two weeks before an important election.  And so I’m writing an election story about a dead goldfish named Princess Nudelman. The news however, is not being seen as humorous to some, who fear the mistake might be a sign of election fraud. The mailing has generated a number of complaints from residents throughout the state.

“I am just stunned at the level of people compromising the integrity of the voting process,” said Lake County Clerk Willard Helander, a Republican, who said she has noticed problems with almost 1,000 voter registrations this year.

Beth Nudelman, Democrat and owner of the dead fish, said that Princess may have found herself on some sort of mailing list after the family put her name down when applying for a second phone line.

“There was no fraud involved,” said Nudelman. “This person is a dead fish.”

It is thought that the registration materials were sent by the “Women’s Voices, Women Vote” project.  This not-for-profit group encourages single women to vote, and purchased the list of names from a vendor.

From this one mailing, 63,500 people returned their voter applications. In order to validate identities, the mailing asked for a social security number and a driver’s license number.

It doesn’t seem to me anything worth getting all riled up about.  If someone is truly interested in getting people out to vote, they’ll probably come up with a better tactic than luring in the dead pets of Greater Chicago.

Source: msnbc

Photo:  Wikimedia Commons

About the Author

Meg Hamill has been working in the environmental non-profit field in Northern California for the past six years. She currently works as a naturalist for LandPaths (in partnership with the Open Space District) in Santa Rosa California. She teaches poetry in the public school through California Poets in the Schools (CPITS) and has traveled extensively throughout South and Central America, picking up Spanish along the way. In 1999 she completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Meg holds an MFA in Creative Writing and has published two books of political/environmental poetry. Read more, buy books and e-mail Meg at

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