On this morning's television news I saw a brief snippet concerning an elderly woman somewhere in the frozen northland (Minnesota, maybe?) who suffers from Alzheimer's and who is being investigated for, and may be charged with, voter fraud. I can't find this report now anywhere online, but if it got the facts right, she filed an absentee ballot thinking she couldn't get to the polls, and subsequently appeared in person and voted. It's apparent that under these conditions, it's unlikely that this woman will really be prosecuted, or sent off to spend five years in jail.
But maybe someone ought to be - someone at the polling place. How would it be possible for her to vote as an absentee and also vote in person? In my jurisdiction, an absentee voter is noted in the electronic lists of registered voters, and would be precluded from voting again. Something went wrong here. It should give us pause about pie-in-the-sky plans for online voting, though.
This incident reminds me of a book I just read: Turn of Mind, by Alice LaPlante, offers interesting insights into Alzheimer's. It's told from the point of view of a woman suffering from that condition, and you see - in a ficitonalized way, of course - how her mind fluctuates from full recall, to partial, to none at all, through the early, middle, and late stages of the disease. In the book, interest is maintained by the literary device that our narrator's best friend has been murdered. The police think the narrator did it; they reappear occasionally to interview her, hoping to spark a confession from her. Turn of Mind makes for an interesting tale, and offers a novel perspective on Alzheimer's, so it's worth a read.