If you are a registered voter, particularly in Connecticut, or at all following any political blogs, you may have read about efforts by political organizations to shame voters into voting on Tuesday by sending threatening and sort of disturbing letters to voters with their voting record. I had read about it last week and sure enough, sorting through the union flyers and other junk mail in my mail on Friday, there mine was. Bearing the words “Important Voting Information Enclosed,” I opened it to find a letter slightly less menacing than others I have read about, but nonetheless still creepily suggesting that the sender would follow-up with me after Tuesday’s election.
Now, I’m sure I’d vote anyways, but I have been especially compelled to vote in the last few elections. I worked for the legislature from 2008 to 2013, and since then I have been working for the executive branch. What yahoos get elected has directly impacted my work life for several years. Whoever sent me this letter seems to relish the thought of sending me a follow-up note informing me whether I voted on Tuesday or not. SPOILER ALERT: I’ll be voting, in spite of this letter.
But I wonder how effective a campaign tactic these letters are. I mean, in everything I have read, people have INSISTED that this tactic has been proven to work. I don’t know. As I said, I would be voting anyways – but after getting that letter, I certainly have paused to consider WHOM I am voting for. So although the letters may be encouraging people to go to the polls, I would imagine that the letters are also discouraging people from voting for the party sending the letters (apparently both Democrats and Republicans have utilized this tactic).
I think everyone’s pretty much blasted the practice, in better words than mine, so I thought I’d offer this advice instead. If anyone really wants to embarrass me or shame me into action, here are some things you could threaten to make public instead of my voting record:
- Audio of me singing in my car.
- A record of how often I shave my legs.
- My flossing record.
- A record of how many times I have cursed in front of my toddler.
- An itemized list of the things under the seats in my car.
- A record of when, if at all, I have RSVP’d in a timely fashion for anything.
- Audio of any voicemail I have ever left at any time for any reason.
Now that would be truly terrifying!