Politician Name Change

Will the real Boris Vishnevsky please stand up?  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

No matter where you stand on claims of election fraud in the US, it doesn’t compare to what will no doubt be the most confusing vote count ever in a Russian election, where Boris Vishnevsky, an opposition candidate in St Petersburg, is facing not one but two other candidates who have changed their names to Boris Vishnevsky, and have even grown out their facial hair to match opposition Boris’s salt and pepper beard.

Remarkably, it’s a relatively common tactic for Russian candidates to change their names to split vote counts in close elections.  In case you’re wondering why that’s not done in the US, it’s because here, you can’t change your name for the purpose of misleading people, especially creditors.  In addition, US law says that if you want to change your name for reasons other than a change in marital status, you need a court order.  Plus, given the reputation of most politicians, it’s hard to imagine why you’d ever want to.

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