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How much is one vote worth?

Postby Omaha Red Sox » Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:34 pm

Absentee ballot mailed with seemingly rare stamp

Robert Nolin
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Nov. 8, 2006 06:20 PM

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - How much is one vote worth?

In the case of an absentee ballot and an antique stamp, it could be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

That's the value of a 1918 Inverted Jenny, one of the rarest stamps in the world, which Broward County, Fla., elections officials said was affixed to an envelope containing an absentee ballot.

The stamp, similar to one that sold in mint condition for $525,000 last year, was canceled. So was the ballot, which contained no clue to the identity of the voter. The mystery unfolded at the elections office Tuesday evening, when County Commissioner John Rodstrom, a member of the county's Canvassing Board, noticed an unusual stamp on a large white envelope carrying an absentee ballot.

A former stamp collector, Rodstrom immediately recognized the unmistakable blue and red image of an upside-down biplane: the Inverted Jenny.

"It's very rare, it was in all of the stamp books," he said. "Only so many of these came off the presses."

One hundred, to be exact.

A sheet containing that number of stamps was printed in error with the biplane upside down. It was sold by mistake in 1918 and collectors have been chasing the Inverted Jenny ever since. In October 2005, an unnamed collector paid $2.9 million for a four-stamp block of Jennys.

The 24-cent stamp was named for the plane it depicted, a Curtiss JN-4 World War I trainer that later delivered air mail.

At the elections office, Deputy Kevin Jurgens, another philatelist, or stamp collector, confirmed for Rodstrom that the stamp indeed appeared to be the vaunted rarity.

"I knew that it was one of the most valuable stamps in a collection," Rodstrom said.

"I doubt that," said Mitch Kopkin, proprietor of the Tropical Stamp shop in Fort Lauderdale. "It's highly unlikely" the stamp in question is an actual Inverted Jenny. "It could be a forged stamp," Kopkin said.

All but five or six of the original 100 Jennys have been traced, Kopkin said. But that doesn't mean a widow or heir couldn't have inherited a true one and unthinkingly stuck it on the envelope, he added.

The ballot was disqualified because it contained no identification.

According to elections office spokeswoman Mary Cooney, absentee voters can mail their ballot in a small envelope that bears their printed name and signature, and acts as the certification that the voter is legitimate.

The voters also have the option, in case of privacy concerns, of mailing the smaller envelope inside a larger, unmarked one for 87 cents postage.

The anonymous voter mailed the ballot inside the larger envelope, without the required small certification envelope, and used the suspected Inverted Jenny as one of the stamps.

"We have no way of knowing who it was from," Cooney said. "There was no return address on the outer envelope."

The stamp is in storage. "After it left the Canvassing Board it was put in a bin and sealed," said elections office spokeswoman Mary Cooney.

It and other paperwork, as required by law, must be archived for almost two years, Cooney said. Then, "We destroy them," she said.

"That would be a tragedy," Kopkin said, if the stamp proves a true collectible. And if so, even though it has been canceled, it could still fetch $50,000 to $200,000 depending on condition. "There would be more of story to it," he said.

Cooney said elections supervisor Brenda Snipes is too busy with balloting to focus on the stamp.

"She's not going to be able to take any time to even look at it until after the (ballot) certification on Monday," Cooney said.

But Rodstrom has definite designs on the Jenny.

"It is now public property," he said. "We have the responsibility to make sure that stamp is sold at auction and we get the most for it we can possibly get and put it into our budget."
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Postby gablefan » Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:44 pm

I lost that stamp when I was down there in May..... :~(
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Postby Redskins Win » Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:44 pm

this reeks of bogusness.
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Postby gablefan » Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:48 pm

Yeah it does, who would use a .24 cent stamp and then attach another 15 .01 or whatever other stamps?

But seriously, it was mine, I think the $ should come to me! I think I dropped when I went to buy the EPT while I was down there.... :-b
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Postby Jimboozie » Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:45 pm

Sounds like Germnay, but I'm gonna have to go with Florida!! FINAL ANSWER!! :-D
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Postby Omaha Red Sox » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:58 am

Looks like it's probably a fake.

'Inverted Jenny' stamp looks fake, experts say

The Associated Press |
Posted November 15, 2006

FORT LAUDERDALE -- What was first thought to be a rare stamp worth up to $300,000 and used to mail an absentee ballot now appears to be a fake, experts said Tuesday.

Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom discovered what was thought to be the famous "Inverted Jenny" stamp while reviewing absentee ballots for the Nov. 7 elections. There was no name on the envelope, so the vote didn't count.

Rodstrom noticed the stamp was from 1936 and had an upside-down World War I-era airplane -- the hallmark of an Inverted Jenny. It now appears the hype was all for nothing.

"It is our opinion, from what we've seen, that this stamp is questionable, and we are of the opinion at this point that it appears to be a reproduction," said Peter Mastrangelo, director of the Pennsylvania-based American Philatelic Society, which reviewed a digital photograph of the stamp.

He said an in-person review was needed to be sure, but that all indications are that the stamp is a counterfeit.

"The perforations on top and bottom do not match our reference copies," Mastrangelo said Tuesday. "The colors of the blue ink are consistent with the counterfeit."

The 24-cent Jenny stamps were printed in 1918. Sheets were run through presses twice to process all the colors, and on one pass, four Jenny sheets went through backward.

Inspectors caught the errors on three sheets and destroyed them, but a sheet of 100 stamps got through.
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Postby Redskins Win » Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:06 pm

Omaha Red Sox wrote:Looks like it's probably a fake.

'Inverted Jenny' stamp looks fake, experts say

The Associated Press |
Posted November 15, 2006

FORT LAUDERDALE -- What was first thought to be a rare stamp worth up to $300,000 and used to mail an absentee ballot now appears to be a fake, experts said Tuesday.

Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom discovered what was thought to be the famous "Inverted Jenny" stamp while reviewing absentee ballots for the Nov. 7 elections. There was no name on the envelope, so the vote didn't count.

Rodstrom noticed the stamp was from 1936 and had an upside-down World War I-era airplane -- the hallmark of an Inverted Jenny. It now appears the hype was all for nothing.

"It is our opinion, from what we've seen, that this stamp is questionable, and we are of the opinion at this point that it appears to be a reproduction," said Peter Mastrangelo, director of the Pennsylvania-based American Philatelic Society, which reviewed a digital photograph of the stamp.

He said an in-person review was needed to be sure, but that all indications are that the stamp is a counterfeit.

"The perforations on top and bottom do not match our reference copies," Mastrangelo said Tuesday. "The colors of the blue ink are consistent with the counterfeit."

The 24-cent Jenny stamps were printed in 1918. Sheets were run through presses twice to process all the colors, and on one pass, four Jenny sheets went through backward.

Inspectors caught the errors on three sheets and destroyed them, but a sheet of 100 stamps got through.


I say Germany ;-D
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So read one anytime you think you've made mistakes.[/b][/size]
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Postby Metroid » Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:13 pm

gablefan wrote:Yeah it does, who would use a .24 cent stamp and then attach another 15 .01 or whatever other stamps?

Thats what I was thinking...

...remove the 24 cent stamp in question...
87-24=63, so is there a 63 cent stamp? I doubt it.

How about two 31 1/2 cent stamps? No.

maybe two 25 cent stamps and a 13 cent stamp? Maybe I guess.

Just seems like a strange postage cost as well but ehh what the hell do I know. :-b
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Postby Metroid » Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:27 pm

Maybe it wasnt actually an "Inverted Jenny"....
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...but an "Inverted Swastika?"
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Simple mistake, I'll say Germany. 8-o




[EDIT] Disclaimer: I in no way mean to trivialize the holocaust or support nazis. It was just a stoopid joke. ;-D
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Postby Redskins Win » Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:42 pm

Metroid wrote:Maybe it wasnt actually an "Inverted Jenny"....
Image

...but an "Inverted Swastika?"
Image

Simple mistake, I'll say Germany. 8-o




[EDIT] Disclaimer: I in no way mean to trivialize the holocaust or support nazis. It was just a stoopid joke. ;-D


I laughed even before I read your disclaimer, then i read the disclaimer and the disclaimer made me laugh.

*edit: this was an atttempt to use the word disclaimer as many times possible without actually disclaiming anything :-b ;-D
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[size=14][b]Letters from the procupine, they'll stick straight through you.
So read one anytime you think you've made mistakes.[/b][/size]
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