In an earlier post, I expressed my discomfort with getting a mailing stating how many times I had voted in the past five elections and the average for my neighborhood. But Darren Smith says that in some areas mailings are a getting far more specific, to the point of being vaguely intimidating. He quotes from one such letter:
Our records indicate that you are registered to vote in Kings County:
Who you vote for is your secret. But whether or not you vote is a public record. Many organizations monitor turnout in your neighborhood and are disappointed by the inconsistent voting of many of your neighbors.
We will be reviewing the Kings County official voting records after the upcoming elections to determine whether you joined your neighbors who voted in 2014. If you do not vote this year, we will be interested to hear why not. [My italics-MS]
If that wasn’t bad enough, Stephen Colbert highlights some cases where the mailings go even further and actually name you and your neighbors and how often each voted in past elections. But despite this high pressure tactic, voting this year was the lowest since 1942, during the World War II.
You can’t shame people into voting. You have to give them a reason to vote.
(This clip aired on November 3, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)