So I voted today, as I always do. However angry I get at the rigged system that is currently in place, I have this unshakeable feeling that I need to go out and vote. But I do understand why some might feel that they cannot in good conscience vote using the lesser-of-two-evils doctrine and I oppose efforts to shame principled non-voters into feeling that they are somehow shirking their civic duty. This is why I never wear the ‘I Voted Today’ sticker that they give me.
Interestingly, a few days ago I got a mailer from the Ohio Democratic party telling me how many times I had voted in the last five elections and giving me a 5/5 score. It also said that the average for my neighbors was 3/5, though it did not define what constituted my neighborhood, making the information somewhat useless.
This seems to be part of the new strategy of getting out the vote by trying to shame people who are voting below the local average to go to the polls. I have no idea how successful this is. But there was something a little disquieting about the fact that people are keeping track of your voting habits even though this is a matter of public record and, in the wake of the Snowden revelations, a pretty minor level of monitoring.
If people really wanted to increase turnout, shifting voting to Sunday’s would probably have a much greater effect. But we know that many politicians do not want to increase voting, especially among the poor and alienated since they might upset the comfortable status quo.