When I was signing in to vote last Tuesday, the Democratic election judge–a friendly woman from up the street–asked if I was clear on the names of the LaRouchies. I thought I was, but there was no reason not to go over them one more time. Love, Jones, Beaudette, I recited, Harper or Handler or Blandler–some name so antiseptic I was sure I’d spot it on the ballot.

Harper and Bender, she said.

I’d impressed her. Obviously you keep up on political affairs, she said, but a lot of people–and here she glanced around the polling place–don’t. They have to be reminded. My admiration for her vigilance was unalloyed. Not until much later in the day did I suddenly wonder how many federal and state election laws she’d been breaking.

But maybe she didn’t break any. She hadn’t urged me to vote for somebody. She didn’t even say to vote against somebody. She just wanted me to know who a few somebodies were.