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WNBA Voting Scandal

Have you read about these "Punch Parties," where WNBA teams openly encourage their fans to stuff the ballot box, in complete disregard for all norms of democratic respect and decency?


Kara Braxton, flashing some secret anti-democracy sign.

Voting ended yesterday, so it's too late for my lament, but check this out, from the Detroit Shock's amazingly well-kept Web site:

Cathy Wamsley and her mother Judy from Monroe didn't want to miss the fun. After Friday night's party they collected the ballots and stayed up until 3 a.m. finishing. "We came home (Friday night) around 11:30 and started punching ballots," said Cathy.....

They punched about 370 ballots that night.....

On Friday night, fans that punched 15 ballots got the chance to meet Deanna Nolan and Katie Smith for autographs. On Saturday night, fans that punched 100 ballots got the chance to meet Kara Braxton for autographs and questions and ask head coach Bill Laimbeer questions about the team and the rest of the season.

370 ballots? 100 ballots? 15 ballots? Trading votes for access and commodities? Where are we, Absurdistan? No, we're in America, which is what the "A" in "WNBA" stands for, or should stand for, anyhow. You vote once here, and then you trust the judgment of your fellow citizens. Unless, apparently, you're one of the freedom-hating Putsch-encouraging executives of the Detroit Shock, who probably rig the results of their Fan of the Game contests, too. What kind of democratic name is "Shock," anyhow? Sounds suspicious.

And don't think their little ploy isn't working. I don't care if the Shock's 10-2 record is best in the East; do they really deserve to have, get this, five of the seven leading vote-getters in the East, and four of the five starters???? Who's coaching the team, Putin? Why don't the voter fraud-obsessed folks in Justice stop firing people and take a look at this?

And ok, I get it, the Mystics aren't having that great a year, but Alana Beard happens to be seventh in the entire league in scoring. How can she be 23rd in Eastern votes? That proto-autocrat in Detroit who voted 370 times could have provided two percent of Beard's entire voting bloc, by herself. It's just outrageous, and I don't outrage easily.

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 25, 2007; 11:37 AM ET
Categories:  Mystics  
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