Post # 1
With mid-term elections today, I’ve had multiple conversations about the new trend of Voter Shaming that has been started by campaigns on both sides of the aisle. I was wondering if any other bees have heard about or experienced this.
For those of you who may not know, in the past year or two, political parties have been using mailers to try to “shame” people to the polls who they believe are likely to vote in their favor. Basically, they look at pools of demographics to guess who is likely to side with them on whatever issue they are promoting, then send out postcard to those individuals and/or their neighbors with your voting record on it. To be clear, WHO/WHAT you vote for is secret, but whether or not you vote is public information, so these group could see that you’ve only voted once in the last two years and send out a letter to your whole neighborhood pointing this fact out in the hopes that it pressures you into making it to the upcoming polls.
Anyways, I hadn’t heard about this until last week when I got this giant postcard in the mail with my FULL NAME in big bold letters saying, “Jane Doe has only voted in one of the last four elections!” and then stuff on the back about how responsible citizens need to stand up and ensure that they do their civic duty. It’s not that I’m embarassed for my postman or neighbors to see that I’ve skipped voting three times this year (frankly, I had no interest in those elections…they were for school board members, uncontested county seats, and sales tax increases for which I was on the fence anyways), I just feel it’s a pretty crappy tactic for these groups to be using.
I found an article that talks about simmilar mailers to the one I received:
What do you guys think? Have you gotten something like this before?
Post # 2
I saw those on the news before and I am all for it. So many people don’t vote then sit back and bitch when they don’t like the person who got elected, and so many people are completely apathetic about voting at the local and regional level that the lawmakers can pretty much do whatever they want. If more people gave a hoot about the “small” elections then maybe there wouldn’t be so many people getting re-elected when no one likes them, or so many people running unopposed.
Post # 3
I received one of those cards that showed the overall voting patterns of my neighborhood, and that “MariContrary” hasn’t voted in the last 4 elections”. Funny thing is that I have, but I recently moved, and this is the first election since then. So to them, it looks like I haven’t voted at all.
I’m still on the fence of how I feel about them. I know whether I vote or not is public record, but sending that to the entire neighborhood is a bit personal, in my opinion. Particularly since in this case, it was incorrect.
Post # 4
I value my privacy HIGHLY. So the thought of my name being plasted all over the place for anyone to see (for whatever reason) creeps me out. I’m against it.
Post # 5
Horseradish: I see your point, but I disagree with the tactics used. A higher voter turnout for local elections (especially if voters aren’t taking the time to educate themselves) isn’t likely to produce real change. The way I see it, all these mailers are likely to accomplish is getting more people to show up and vote along party lines for elections that have real meaning.
It isn’t as if people were spending money to shame people to the polls in April when the only thing on the ballot was the election of the school board or back last November when our mayor ran unopposed. These postcards were sent out the week before we voted on several amendments to our state constitution and some hotly-contested elected officials.
Post # 6
amanda.417: If you truly believe that higher voter turnout for local elections won’t produce real change, I suggest you watch last weekend’s episode of John Oliver’s new show: http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/11/03/john_oliver_on_state_legislatures_last_week_tonight_takes_on_alec_local.html
And while showing up to vote is only half the battle– the other half being actually learning about the issues and making an educated decision, not just randomly pushing buttons—- you have to start somewhere.
The voter apathy in America is disturbing and it is continuing to get worse. Celebrity ads on TV haven’t worked. Phone calls, mailers, and grassroots campaigners at your doorstep haven’t worked. The shocking impact of Citizens United should have us all up in arms but the country continues to care less and less about voting. maybe it is time to give negative reinforcement a try.
Post # 7
amanda.417: I’ve never heard of that. Totally lame.
Post # 8
This is disgusting! Some of these letters, the NYC ones especially, were threatening. Using the voter roles to threaten or intimidate is illegal and should be. Voting is a right and a privilege of living in our republic, not a requirement! Yes, I believe all should vote, but it also isn’t any of anyone’s business wether they do or not.
Post # 9
That is ridiculous, and very big brother-ish if you ask me. When and if I vote is none of my neighbors’ business.
Post # 10
- Wedding: July 2015 - City Hall!
I think you should vote for EVERY SINGLE ELECTION. It took me FOUR HOURS to vote today (I had to go multiple places …my polling place and town hall..to fix my name because for some reason it wasn’t on the list I’ve been on since I’ve started voting) I went back and forth to places four times. But guess what, I didn’t give up. So many people would’ve thrown in the towel.
If you feel weird about it being your privacy violated (which I agree and I feel this way also) you get mail with your name. It’s basically the same concept.
Post # 11
I got one of those… and I liked it. It really made me kick my a s s into gear. I am a huge proponent of voting and in the last election I didn’t request an absentee ballot on time. I am glad that this time the postcard had voting in the forefront of my mind. I can understand why you’re uncomfortable with it, but I don’t think it is very “threatening” as a PP called it. And people shouldn’t be reading your mail anyway… THAT is the only part that is a crime in this situation.
Post # 12
amanda.417: also, I might be wrong but I’m guessing we live in the same state based on your name and your comment about the constitutional questions. Hiiiii friend! I promise not to tell if you vote! lol
Post # 13
I think it’s appalling. No one knows the person’s individual circumstances. How dare some political group shame and embarrass them. A good friend of mine was sitting next to her father on his deathbed today- I forgive her for not voting this time around.
Post # 14
I think its just as absurd and just as “tasteless” as the judge mental people who picket.
if you are politically ignorant you have no place at the polls. That is no excuse for shaming.
Post # 15
HoorayLouLou: I don’t get mail with my neighbors’ names and information about them. This is not like regular mail.