A Calvert County woman who registered her dog to vote in order to test the state's oversight of voter registrations won't have to pay a fine or go to jail.
Instead, as part of an agreement reached by her attorney, Thomas V. Mike Miller, president of the Maryland Senate, and Robert B. Riddle, state's attorney for Calvert County, Mabel Mackall Briscoe, 82, will perform community service during the 2002 election season.
"I looked at everything, and it seemed the appropriate disposition given ... her age and her commitment to the community and her motive balanced against the extra work by the election board," Riddle said yesterday.
"There are some people who think this is a big joke and that it ought to be ignored, and others who think she tampered with a sacred thing and - given what happened in Florida with the recount - that she should be punished," Riddle said. "I just tried to strike a balance."
Briscoe could have been fined $1,000 and sentenced to five years in prison.
Briscoe, who lives in Sunderland with Holly, her Jack Russell terrier, could not be reached for comment yesterday. Briscoe registered Holly to vote in summer 1999, listing an April 9, 1980, birth date for the pet and signing the dog's name on the dotted line.
Riddle said Briscoe agreed to the community service work early last week. He said the number of hours she would serve had not been determined. Because of her age, Riddle said, Briscoe would not be required to do strenuous work.