Politics has always had a 'you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours' attitude to it and Carme Cristina Lima went for it by offering voters cocaine in exchange for their votes.
It was a generous if entirely misguided effort to win the position of councillor of Itacoatiara in Northern Brazil. Police got suspicious when long lines of people were crowding around Lima's car on election day. When they went to investigate the crowd ran and Lima tried to make a quick getaway in her car.
When they caught up with her, police found hundreds of cocaine packets attached to leaflets on voting for Lima. Say bye-bye to her political career but not for the reason you think.
Sure, if Lima is convicted for drug dealing and electoral corruption she'll have a hard time holding a political office from prison. But it would also keep her out of the running for years.
Under Brazilian law, persons convicted of a range of crimes, including the ones Lima is charged with, are banned from taking public office for eight years, reports Metro Web Reporter.
At least here we let convicted felons run for public office and vote in national elections.
There are some limits on who can vote in state elections and run for state office. In many states convicted felons are on the 'no' list.
But just because you can't vote in state elections doesn't mean federal ones are off limits.
If you've been convicted of a felony in the United States there is nothing in the Constitution that limits your right to hold a national office or vote in national elections. That last one is particularly important in the current political climate.
Don't let anyone stop you from voting in the November election. If you have trouble registering or voting get in contact with an attorney who can give you advice on what to do next.
This wasn't a great move for Lima's political career and you probably shouldn't expect to get a similar 'surprise' from candidates in the upcoming election. But even without the reward, get yourself to a polling place come November 6th and get your vote on.
- Carme Cristina Lima, Brazilian Politician, Accused Of Offering Cocaine For Votes (Huffington Post)
- Voting Rights and Discrimination FAQ (FindLaw)
- Voting Rights of Ex-Offenders under Review (FindLaw's Blotter)