If the media weren’t adept enough at bullying folks, residents in Austin, Texas are getting “voter report cards” in the mail comparing their voting record to that of their neighbors.
According to a local CBS affiliate, the genius mind behind these little cards is a non-partisan, non-profit group from Washington, D. C. called The Voter Participation Center, who says they’re just trying to encourage infrequent voters to get out there and participate in elections.
“Whether someone voted in an election is public record. As a civic-engagement group, we use public records to help voters understand their voting records,” the VPC claims.
CBS explained the cards “don't reveal who voted or how they voted but they do tell you if a nearby neighbor didn't participate in a recent election.”
However, CBS reports another organization, a D.C.-based, fiscally conservative political action group called “Club for Growth,” is also sending voting records to Austin residents – cards that not only give voters a letter grade according to their own record, but also list nearby neighbors' names along with their voting grades, too.
Some residents said they simply shredded the cards like junk mail, adding there wasn’t really any harm since the cards didn’t list who’d voted and for whom. Others, however, said they found the cards irritating and intrusive.
And they’re not the only ones. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that some Pennsylvania voters had gotten a “Pennsylvania State Voter Report” in the mail reminding them whether they’d voted in the past three elections — and whether or not their neighbors had. Voters in both New York and New Jersey have gotten letters listing previous elections they hadn’t voted in.
Similarly, some users took to social media to complain they’d gotten a mass text from Get Out the Vote not-so-subtly reminding them that their voting history was public record, and that their neighbors could see it.