Yellow dogs and mystery calls

On Saturday morning, Sept. 10, I received  a phone call at home. The caller did not identify himself but said he  had just moved to Washington. He said that he had been to the Democratic yard sale fundraiser and noticed that we were registering voters under the Democratic tent. I told him, “We don’t only register Democrats.” He seemed to overreact with a big, “Oh, really.”

He kept asking me about online registration. He seemed to want to keep me engaged in conversation. I told him to go to the Rappahannock County Registrar’s office and how to find it. I asked him how he got my name to call. He hemmed and hawed and then he said he had found it on a web site at the library as the person to call about registering.

First,  I have never been on a Democratic web site as the person to call about registering. Second, in my entire life I have only registered one voter in Rappahannock. It was almost 40 years ago and it was me. And third: There was no registration going on at the Democratic tent. There was a second table about 30 feet from the tent. We are not allowed by law to ask about political preference, and the tables are purposely kept apart. The gentleman who does the registration brings his own table, three generic signs, including one in Spanish, to encourage people to vote. He wears no identification of any political party. He brings his dog, a female yellow lab. Now, some zealot out there might say, ‘Look at the registration table, it’s being manned by a Yellow Dog Democrat!”

The dog asked no questions of anyone. John, the gentleman owner of the labrador, is doing a public service. He registered a few people, but sadly no cows.

I believe the person who called was trying to get me to say something that I ought not to say. It is called entrapment. It is not a very pretty thing to do.

Hank Gorfein
Washington

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