If you want to know how someone registered to vote as Barack Obama without a birth certificate, well, don't go there. But one key missing letter did let one prankster slip through the cracks as the president... until jury duty caught up with him.
The thing is, no one is sure where this Barack H. Obama came from. Somehow, during the lead-up to the 2008 election, someone put the President's name on a voter registration card in Pennsylvania as a prank, the Associated Press' Joe Mandek reports. This prankster was able to avoid detection until now because the registration card was filed in the system as "Barack H. Oba-n-a," a stealthy one-consonant difference. It wasn't until last week, when a Pennsylvania judge was looking through voter registration forms for potential jury duty candidates, that the mix-up was discovered.
It's not like the poor state employee who put the card in the system got the President's street address on Pennsylvania Avenue mixed up with the state. The Pittsburgh Tribune's Bill Vdonic reports the card was filled with false information, including fake phone and license plate numbers. Also, Obama was listed as a 28-year-old. (He was actually 47 years old at the time. He's 51 now, and looks every minute of it.) Detectives told Vdonic they think the card was just a college prank.
We've heard of write-in candidates getting support during the election, like how Charles Darwin got 4,000 votes in 2012, but this is unusual. This is one of the first times we've heard of a write-in voter? Except for, you know, the stories about crazy voter fraud schemes that haunted the 2012 election. Those probably count, too. At least the person who filed the "Obana" card never showed up to try and vote with it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.