Sunday, November 12, 2006
Extremely Rare Stamp Used To Mail Anonymous Absentee Ballot
An absentee ballot in Florida was mailed with a rare stamp that could bring as much as a half a million dollars at auction. Unfortunately, the stamp cannot be returned to the unwitting owner because they failed to identify themselves on the ballot, which also invalidated their vote!
The stamp, which was a 1918 inverted Jenny which depicted a biplane accidentally printed upside down, was found in Ft. Lauderdale by John Rodstom, a member of the county's elections Canvassing Board.
The ballot was in a large envelope with the 1918 stamp, along with two stamps from the 1930's, and another dating back to WWII.
"I thought, 'Oh my God, I know that stamp, I've seen that stamp before,"' said Rodstrom, 54, who dabbled in stamp collecting as a boy. "I'd forgotten the name. I just remembered there was a stamp with an upside-down biplane on it and that it was a very rare, rare stamp."
Rodstrom said he did not examine the envelope's postmark, but it had no return address and the ballot was disqualified because it gave no clue as to the identity of the voter.
"It's now government property," he said.
A postmark on a stamp usually would hurt its value but Rodstrom said the story behind this one -- plus the fact that it is joined by other old stamps on the envelope -- might actually increase its worth.
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.
Can you imagine that? Alzheimer's is a such a cruel disease; to slowly loose the capacity of your mind... You forget to mark the envelope, the ballot, to buy new stamps, ect., but you can remember where you put a bunch of old stamps from the 40's and earlier?