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Rangers fans discover NHL locked All-Star ballot box from stuffingIn the grand tradition of Vote For Rory and other fan campaigns, New York Rangers fans entered this week cracking their knuckles to Vote For Girardi.

The team's stalwart defensive defenseman, Girardi was left off the 2012 NHL All-Star Game ballot, in a move with which Coach John Tortorella subtly disagreed:

"This league," Tortorella bemoaned. "It's because he's not pedigree. There's no pedigree there. Our league is so ass-backwards when it comes to that."

"It's not just this year that he's underrated," the coach said. "This guys has been a really good player, but if you don't have the pedigree in this league, they don't look at you."

Kevin DeLury of The New York Rangers Blog sparked the Vote For Girardi campaign, and it's picked up steam. Alas, the ringleader of this effort has discovered something that might derail the campaign.

The top of the NHL All-Star Game voting page states the following:

Cast Your Vote  Give your favorite players the chance to play in the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL® All-Star Game in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada by submitting a ballot. (Up to 30 times on each platform: below, on web-enabled mobile devices, and via SMS text). Pick up to 3 Forwards, 2 Defensemen and 1 Goalie from the lists below.

Thirty times, each platform. Got it. All that means is more fans voting 30 times a day on various devices, right?

Nope.

Wrong, according to DeLury:

Yesterday when I went to vote my 30 times for Dan Girardi(notes) on the NHL ballot, the message stating that I had reached the limit for votes allowed online which had flashed after voting 30 times on Monday was still there. It hadn't been 24 hours so I figured it hadn't been reset yet. However, throughout the day I had received tweets and e-mails from other fans trying to vote for Girardi stating the same thing.

… Up to 30 times on each platform. Not 30 times on each platform per day, just 30 times on each platform. So basically if you've done your 30 write-ins for Girardi on the on-line ballot and through text message you are done.

From the Official Ruled for the contest:

Each participant may enter up to thirty (30) times during the Promotion Period regardless of whether the participant uses a computer or mobile device to participate. Multiple entrants are not permitted to share the same email address. Any attempt by any entrant to obtain more than the stated number of entries by using multiple/different email addresses, identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that entrant's entries and that entrant may be disqualified. Use of any automated system to participate is prohibited and will result in disqualification. In the event of a dispute as to any registration, the authorized account holder of the email address used to enter the Sweepstakes will be deemed to be the registrant. The "authorized account holder" is the natural person assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted address. The potential winner may be required to show proof of being the authorized account holder. All entries become the property of Sponsor and the Administrator and will not be acknowledged or returned.

Daaaaannnnng yo.

The obvious work-around would have been to register under a different name to vote, unless the NHL has gotten into specifically banning IP addresses from ballot-stuffing; according to these rules, that might be the case.

The NHL has been proactive in the past with cracking down on ballot-stuffing and other chicanery — ask Montreal Canadiens fans.

Is cracking down on this in keeping with the spirit of fan voting?

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