Election Day Sale: Minnnesota Student Charges After Trying to Sell Vote for $10

University of Minnesota student Max P. Sanders, 19, has been charged with a long felony for putting his vote in the presidential election up for sale on EBay. While he insists that it was a joke, the prosecutors insist it was a crime.

Sanders states a $10 minimum bid, but the rest of the offer supports a view that he was engaging in a joke when he said “Good luck! You’re (sic) country depends on You!”

He was charged under an 1893 law alleging bribery, treating and soliciting in the selling of a vote. He could face to five years’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

Of course, it may have been a mistake in the pitch. Members of Congress routinely vote for the clients of lobbyists who arrange for vacations and political contributions. Then again, Sanders could have offer to sell his vote for $10 of a milk or farm subsidy.

I may be shaded having grown up in Chicago where my dead relatives maintained a perfect voting record long after they passed on.

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16 thoughts on “Election Day Sale: Minnnesota Student Charges After Trying to Sell Vote for $10”

  1. It would have been better for everyone if the prosecutor’s office simply gave this guy a warning instead of actually charging him. It’s a waste of everyone’s time and resources, as well as potentially ruining this guy’s life. People can’t get most of the jobs out there these days with a felony record on file.

  2. rafflaw,

    This is a family blog! My thoughts are with your family, especially your son.


    Have fun with your kids. I’ve already decided your church is not pure enough for me and I’m starting my own schism. I’m prophet of of the fundamentalist flock of flamenco. We are from Spain and like to dance!


    P.S. Gina uses the same terminology in her posts as Martha. Are they sisters?

  3. Messing with homeless people period should be unlawful.

    The assumption that homeless people would want cigarettes is ludicrous.

    To use the homeless to mess with people’s minds with a “chicken or egg” gotcha is sad.

    Homeless people do have a home…it is whatever or where ever they reside. In court decision after court decision, they cannot be denied the right to vote.

  4. Gina:

    And what Country would you be from? North Korea? God forbid, any kid make a mistake, since we have in our midst the paragon of propriety, patriotism, and moral certitude–our own Gina! And if you find a truly free and incorrupt election in this Country let me know, even the Supreme Court acknowledges we don’t have anything such as that, nor are we guaranteed it. Now I ‘ll go back to playing with my blocks.


    “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room (or closet.) and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret…” (Matthew 6:5-6 RSV).

  5. This attempt to sell his vote shows how little regard young people have for democracy and the right to vote. Perhaps if they lived in a country where citizens don’t have the right to vote, they might have a clue … Maybe. These bloggers are quick with their trite little quips, while having no understanding of the blood, sweat and tears it took to achieve and maintain free and incorrupt elections. What a bunch of stupid, naive children. I say lock them up and make an example of them!

  6. “Dragging homeless to elections to have them vote for a candidate for a pack of cigarettes…”


    You present yourself as a follower of the bible, yet you display a contempt for the poor that is unworthy of anyone who makes this claim. Jesus did not honor the rich. He honored the poor. He rebuked those who shunned the poor and said it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kindgdom of heaven. The sermon on the mount does not glorify the wealthy. Again in it, Jesus honors the poor and outcast of society. If you are a follower of Jesus than why do you show contempt for the poor? Jesus instructed his followers to feed and clothe the homeless. Your statment above shows hatred towards the poor.

    I worked with ABLE to help anyone who needed a ride to get to the polls. No one was asked to declare who they would vote for or to declare their income before receiving a ride. No one, rich or poor, was given cigarettes.

  7. Jill:

    I like your free speech argument. Maybe he was parodying the rampant legalized bribery cited by Professor Turley. His civil disobedience was free speech in action like (god forbid) flag burning. We’re signing you up for law school–you get it.

    You’ve also been elevated to High Falcon of the Church of Ornithology-COO for short. (COO-You know like the sound of the mourning dove.) It’s official, I passed my stick over it while wearing my pointy hat. rafflaw even lit the incense and sprinkled holy water from the bird bath.

  8. “it happened most recently in 2000 in Wisconsin when bus loads of homeless were shuttled to the voting booths to vote for the Democratic candidate for a pack of cigarettes.”

    martha’s right again (as usual) since she we all know she reads the National Review and regurgitates it to us every day. Those homeless citizens have no right to vote. With the generous Republi-cons in office and managing their social programs, they should just shut up and suffer. We all know they would never vote Democratic voluntarily since the Repubs are still the party of the little man. Banish them I say to the nether regions on command of Good Queen martha of Snotts. And as for that kid (and the rest of us kids here too) having a good time on Ebay, his head on a pike would be too good for him. He should be sentenced to listening to Rush Limbaugh three hours a day, 5 days a week for say one year. That would indoctrinate him in the way of truth and light. Amen.

  9. You all must be just kids.

    Dragging homeless to elections to have them vote for a candidate for a pack of cigarettes is fresh in many of our minds yet – it happened most recently in 2000 in Wisconsin when bus loads of homeless were shuttled to the voting booths to vote for the Democratic candidate for a pack of cigarettes.

    Buying votes is as old as the Democratic party; that and flattening the tires of the opposition so they cannot run a voters shuttle service for seniors………

    Throw the book at this kid and send a messge to the Daily Kos lunatic fringe wackos out there that no longer will responsible respectable Americans allow the Democratic party to buy elections.

  10. A comment such as a vote in the US presidential election isn’t even worth a dollar? Makes sense to me.

  11. bernard,

    Good point and good idea.

    To lawyers:

    Isn’t this also a free speech issue? I thought he was making a commentary on the state of our politics.

  12. Everyone should die in Chicago. They’ll have a guaranteed resurrection every voting cycle. How ridiculous! I realize the justice dept needs a better reputation but this isn’t exactly the place to start. I suppose this is their idea of fulfilling the directive against voter fraud. Isn’t this malicious prosecution? It will cost this man a lot of money to defend himself. ARRGG

  13. WOW!! If this goofy prank is such a crime what would you call the rigging of the 2000 and 2004 election concealing the software used on the voting cards which later proved to make it extremely easy to fix the end result? This cover-up proved critical to the delivery of Florida and Ohio to Bush.

    Agree, this prosecutor must really have had a lot of time on his hand!
    Meso, I think these idiots GRAVITATE to these jobs.

    We should all play the same prank… and all get charged!

  14. Crime must be way down in Minnesota to worry about this obvious prank. Do prosecutors lose all perspective when they get the job or do folks like that gravitate to these types of jobs? Chicken or the egg,I guess.

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