More Than I Needed to Know–Editorial

I know now that some of my neighbors on my street did or did not vote in the 2004 and 2008 elections.  Thanks to an organization called Americans for Limited Government, I received an unsolicited notice in the mail last week telling me in which of the past two general elections six of my neighbors and I voted or did not vote.  I’m not really pleased with this. 

I have been aware of this organization from various news reports during this election cycle.  On the surface, it just looks like they want every eligible voter to go out and participate in their civic responsibility.  All they did in their notice was post the years in which I and six of my neighbors did or did not vote.  I don’t believe they got mine correct.  I’ve no way of knowing about the accuracy of my neighbors.  The notice skips around on the street addresses…nothing is contiguous.  It indicates that two of the six didn’t vote at all in the past two elections.   It doesn’t let me know if any of them also got this notice with other names on it from different streets in town. My notice number on the mailer falls just under 160,000,000.  That seems like a lot of addresses if that’s how many were mailed across the country.  Or they could have started the count with any number they wanted. 

But this notice has a Big Brother feel to it, its accuracy notwithstanding.  A quick Google search indicates that some of these notices have been sent to kids too young to vote, which makes me wonder again about the accuracy of the audit and what is being used by Americans for Limited Government as source material.  There are no specifics cited on the notice.  Another claim in the news accounts is that when voters in a location are reminded of their voting record, there’s a small percentage hike occurring for additional voting numbers.  And there’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t try to shame me into voting.  A man walked into the office Tuesday asking where he could vote.  When I said the Wellness Center, he replied that was too far to walk so he wasn’t going to vote this year.  There have been numerous east coast residents who lost their homes in the recent hurricane and they stood in line for a couple of hours so they could vote.  If you want to vote, you’ll find a way. 

My ballot choices are still my business just as yours are your own.  I hope you do vote at every opportunity and take part in the political process in your community.  I don’t think any purpose is served by a mailed reminder.  I don’t know if Americans for Limited Government wants to somehow shame or praise me by displaying this unasked for information.  After all, it only got sent to about seven people.  But I hope I don’t get a future reminder from them stating that I voted in the last election, but I voted for the wrong person.  Then we will have cause to worry.  Sure, I can view my friend, neighbor or acquaintance standing in the voting line on Election Day and that’s all right.  But that’s as public as it should get.

Russ Baldwin
The Prowers Journal

Filed Under: CitycommunityLamarLetters to the EditorPolitics


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