Intimidation by "Transparency"

Monday, June 04, 2012

Blogger Ann Althouse, who resides in Wisconsin, received in the mail a list of her neighbors, their addresses, and whether they voted in the last couple elections. Preceding the list is the following text:

Dear Registered Voter:

Who votes is public record!

Why do so many people fail to vote? We've been talking about this problem for years, but it only seems to get worse. This year, we're taking a new approach. We're sending this mailing to you and your neighbors to publicize who does and does not vote.

We need to all pull together. This chart shows the names of some of your neighbors, showing which have voted in the past.

After the June 5th election, public records will tell everyone who voted and who didn't.

Do your civic duty -- vote.
The mailing came from a leftist outfit called the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund, whose members and supporters presumably don't mind everyone knowing who funds them. With Scott Walker's recall election looming, this creepy mailing reeks -- as several commenters at Althouse have indicated  -- of both an attempt at intimidation of the listed non-voters and an invitation to cast fraudulent ballots in their names.

I can only hope that, by spreading the word, I can do my part to give these presumptuous cowards exactly what they claim to wish for, greater turnout. Presumably, however, most of the new votes -- which, thankfully, aren't a matter of public record -- would go to Walker, who is facing a recall election.

-- CAV


Steve D said...

In Canada where I come from, one of the constitutional options is to turn in an empty ballet. By law, it has to be counted as a vote for no one. That always seemed like a good idea to me, for people like myself who don't disagree with the concept of voting per se but will not vote for any of the candidates listed since none were ever even close to someone I might consider voting for.

What the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund did should be illegal. After the election that information should be sealed and released only by court order if it’s necessary to investigate fraud. What part of the term ‘secret ballet’ is incomprehensible to these people?

Gus Van Horn said...

I am not sure what the law says in Wisconsin, but perhaps it has a similar provision. If not, and I wanted to protect my privacy/prevent the illegal use of my vote, I'd cast a mostly-empty ballot and work to support changes in the law to protect voter anonymity.