Saturday, November 11, 2006

Herein of a lost rare stamp, absentee ballots, and Florida voters

What is it about Florida voters? An article today at Yahoo news begins:

A Florida voter may have unwittingly lost hundreds of thousands of dollars by using an extremely rare stamp to mail an absentee ballot in Tuesday's congressional election, a government official said on Friday.

The 1918 Inverted Jenny stamp, which takes its name from an image of a biplane accidentally printed upside-down, turned up on Tuesday night in Fort Lauderdale, where election officials were inspecting ballots from parts of south Florida, Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom told Reuters.

Only 100 of the stamps have ever been found, making them one of the top prizes of all philately.

Suppose the absent mined absentee voter realizes what he has done and asks for his stamp back? Well, it appears that the quality of mercy is strained after all in Broward County. Mr Rodstrom "said he doubted the stamp would ever be handed over to someone claiming to have mailed it inadvertently. 'It would be hard to prove, I guess you would have to say it was a person who had Alzheimer's,' he said." 

As they say in Florida, finders keepers, losers weepers.

But query? Suppose a voter shows up and can prove that he owned such a stamp and claims to have used it unintentionally? Is this abandoned property? Lost property? How should such a case come out?

Hmmm. I think I see an exam question beginning to take shape!

Rick Duncan

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You are right, Rick--this could make for a mighty interesting discussion. But are we really dealing with an "Inverted Jenny" . . . or someone who used a high-quality photocopier who's pulled a fast one on the post office? I'm wondering if this could combine criminal law and property issues?

Posted by: Al | Nov 11, 2006 4:32:15 PM

Just a quick update on the "inverted jenny" stamp...The AP is now reporting that was in fact a fake, but I think the more interesting aspect of the article is how the "Jenny" became inverted in the first place.

Posted by: N.J.L.S. | Nov 15, 2006 9:48:01 AM

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