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Shell Shocked: Election fraud on Sanibel

By ART STEVENS - | Dec 23, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Art Stevens

I ran for Sanibel dog catcher on Election Day. Around 10 p.m. on Election Night I was leading my opponent, who, by the way made it clear in his campaign that he hates dogs, by around 10 percent. All votes recorded at that hour were taken directly from the 1,100 voting facilities throughout the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. No absentee or mail in ballots had been recorded as yet.

I was getting ready to celebrate when the media informed the public that the remainder of the votes yet to be counted were in the process of arriving in sealed and confidential poop bags. I remained confident that the absentee poop bag ballots would prove me a victor in this election, one that I truly deserved because of my devotion to dogs, but not their masters.

But as Election Night wore on it became clear that the poop bag ballots were favoring my opponent and not me. By the next morning my opponent had surpassed me in votes and was now running about 5 percent ahead. This couldn’t be happening. When the local media announced that my opponent had won the election and was now the official dogcatcher-elect, I immediately shouted “fraud” from condo rooftops.

To my mind there was no way my opponent could have dispatched of me so quickly after I had been ahead in the race by 10 percentage points. I personally went down to the election board to protest and they told me that the late arriving poop bag ballots had come from the suburban dog-hating districts within Sanibel and that the only reason these voters mailed their poop bag ballots rather than vote in person was because they were afraid of being bitten by rabid dogs at the polling booths.

The election board went on record as saying that the election was fair and square and would be certified in a few weeks’ time by the Sanibel Electoral College. I decided to fight this fraudulent election and re-establish democracy and justice on Sanibel. I assembled a team of dog lovers and pro-democracy advocates to join me in my pursuit of correcting an injustice. I had won that election by a landslide and no one was going to take it away from me.

My opponent attempted to placate me by inviting me to be part of his transition team. Had he lost his mind? This request demonstrated what a moron my opponent was. He was trying to trick me into inadequacy and dementia. I politely turned down his offer and proceeded to badmouth him every chance I had. The only transition I would gladly help him with was his conceding the election to me.

I then filed lawsuits against every voter in Sanibel and organization I could think of. I even filed one against Timbers accusing it of poisoning my voter base. I let them all know in no uncertain terms that they had cheated me out of the election and that I would never be friends with any of them from now on. When that didn’t work, I decided to appeal my case before the Sanibel City Council. I was invited to state my case at a special public meeting. It took me a week to prepare my opening remarks and learn how to bark like a dog. I gave an impassioned speech and even jumped through hoops. I pointed out that my opponent had engaged in fraud and aside from hating dogs he was no more qualified to be the Sanibel Dogcatcher than Goofy. I made it clear to the city council that my opponent had formed a conspiracy with other elected dogcatchers throughout Florida to tarnish my reputation and ruin my career.

The city council deliberated long and hard but concluded, in their words, that the election had been conducted fairly, there was no fraud and my opponent had won. I demanded a recount but no one in any position of authority wanted to touch the mailed in poop bag ballots. Furthermore, they didn’t know how to count, let alone recount. I didn’t give up. Fair is fair. I took my case to the Supreme Dogcatchers Court. It deliberated for a full five minutes and rendered a unanimous opinion. “It is the opinion of this court that this lawsuit is not only without any merit, but the plaintiff is also without merit. We urge the plaintiff to leave Sanibel peacefully otherwise we will send a pack of wild dogs to nip at his ankles.”

I then filed 1,400 more lawsuits — 10 against Doc Ford’s, four more against Timbers and eight against the Sanibel Post Office. I arranged for demonstrations on Periwinkle and even had some of my followers lie down on the Sanibel Causeway. Nothing worked. But I’m still holding out some hope for justice and the will of the people. My opponent is scheduled to be inaugurated as Sanibel dogcatcher on Jan. 20. I plan to be there but not to congratulate him. I plan to announce my candidacy as Sanibel alligator handler. I pity anyone who defies the wishes of the good citizens of Sanibel this time around. If I’m still fraudulently deprived of serving the public in this other important upcoming election I will ask Fox News to castigate Sanibel in every way it can.

If I’m not Sanibel dogcatcher or alligator handler, then there is no such thing as a democracy.