O’FALLON, Mo. (CN) – A hockey fan’s Oshie-mania could send him to jail. A St. Louis Blues hockey fan wrote in popular rookie T.J. Oshie as mayor for O’Fallon, took a picture of the ballot and posted it on a Web site. St. Charles County election officials say the move warrants time in the penalty box because it violates state law. And the penalty is more than just a 2-minute minor: the fan could face up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. But the county doesn’t know who did it.
Election regulations prohibit voters from photographing and displaying their own ballot. Much of the St. Louis area is caught up with the Blues’ playoff run, but the St. Charles County Election Authority says there will be no playoff party in its ballot box.
County Elections Director Rich A. Chrismer told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the voter violated the law and that he plans to prosecute.
“You can’t violate something as sacred as a ballot,” Chrismer said. “People won’t trust going to a polling place if they think somebody is walking around with a camera.”
But finding the Oshie fan won’t be easy. The photo appears anonymously and individual voter preferences are not tracked by name. Chrismer said he hopes to find the voter’s identity by contacting the Oshie Web site.
The ballot appeared on a Web site called “Vote 4 Oshie.”
Oshie, 22, is too young to serve as mayor and doesn’t even live in O’Fallon.
Oshie has become a fan favorite during the Blues’ historic late-season playoff surge. Two months ago, the Blues were last in the Western Conference, but rallied and recorded 19 out of 22 possible points in its last 11 games to secure the sixth spot in the conference. It is the fastest rise in the standings in NHL history.
O’Fallon is 35 miles west of St. Louis.