Cross posted from Street Prophets:
I met God this morning. In fact I shared an elevator with him.
Paul Sewell, a bail bondsman from Reading, Pennsylvania signs his name as "God" on all his official documents. He claims to have signed his name thusly on his driver's license, mortgage, Social Security card, and various search and arrest warrants over a ten year period.
But God lost today. The Berks County Board of Elections rejected his voter registration change of address request because he signed it "God."
By the way, God is an African-American Republican.
More after the fold....
Mr. Sewell argued that "God" is his mark, and an individual is allowed under the law to affix his mark instead of a signature, thus making it legal.
Commissioner Thomas Gajewski noted that a mark is allowed for those who are illiterate, not for everyone. Commissioner Mark Scott remarked that such a precedent would create chaos in the election process. Imagine anyone being able to use anything they wanted in place of their signature? How would you ascertain a voter is who they claim they are? How do you verify signatures on nominating petitions?
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is reviewing God's driver's license as a result of the issues brought up in this matter.
Judy Schwank, Chair of the Board, explained that the issue has nothing to do with religeon, but with the integrity of the voting process.
Sewell says he began using the moniker because as he'd arrest people who had jumped bail they always said, "Oh God, please let me go."
The Board wound up voting 3-0 to deny God his change of address application because his signature does not match that on his original voter registration application, done in 1995. They also explained that if he attempted to vote using his unique signature his right to vote could be challenged.
Fortunately no lightening bolt hit the County Services Building as I descended to the lobby with God in our elevator. God did seem quite displeased with the decision.
Update: Watch a video clip about the story here: