What I Did Last Election… Outing Voters is Despicable

There’s this thing. A group is publishing who voted, when and their addresses. And sending out mailers to everyone giving out this information. They hope to shame people into voting.

It’s not cool. It’s not okay. And at least for me, it won’t work.

Out me. Tell me neighbors and my friends and random strangers when I voted and when I didn’t. It won’t alter my voting behavior. Not at all. Not one bit. I just don’t care enough about what other people think of me and my behaviors to care that they “know” what I did last election. Or the one before that. Or the one before that.

I don’t even care if they’d published how I voted and who I voted for. I’m not ashamed of my voting pattern and behaviors. I choose to vote. I choose when not to vote. And no one is going to make me do any differently than I want to do. Period. Not for any reason. Hell, let me “out” myself. Y’all, if you want to know who, how and when I voted… ask. OR if enough people seem even remotely interested, I’d be willing to publish it right here on the blog to be preserved for all eternity. Cause I just don’t give a shit who knows what about my voting habits.

What I do care about is that these people (a PAC) are also giving out address and other personal information. Now, I know anyone can get this info for a small fee. However, it feels like an invasion of privacy. And it makes at the ridiculously small hurdle of paying to get this info non-existent. And makes it that much easier for the loopy-loos out there to have in their possession information they might not have paid even a nominal fee to attain. And it feels like an invasion of privacy.

People are pissed about it.

The group doing the “outing” has some psychology to back them up. It seems shaming people does bring them out to vote. Which is tragic– on so many levels. I don’t like it that people are shamed into altering their behavior. I don’t like it that people are doing something for which they feel shame. I don’t get that at all. If you felt bad about not voting why not just vote and not wait for some group to shame you into doing it? It also makes me sad that there are people out there wanting to shame people into doing what they want even if it is something like voting (which I generally think of as a good thing).

If I haven’t made myself clear previously, the right to vote–our franchise in our country and government–is the apex of citizenry and a functional democracy. Our country confers citizenship upon every person born on our soil.  The way we express that citizenry is by voting. The right and responsibility to vote is, in my mind, the primary right upon which all other rights are built. Without our franchise in our government and country, no other rights matter. If we can’t have a voice, an effect and the ability to alter the way we govern, who governs us and how we are governed, no other rights are secured. Not by us, the People. Not if we can’t vote to effect shit. We are voiceless minions, squirrels trying to get nuts forever out of our reach. The right to vote is SUPREME, y’all.

To use shaming tactics to make people vote might seem like a good thing. But I have never thought the ends justified the means. So many times, it is the means that determine the worth of the ends. The mercenary nature of only caring about outcome, regardless of the damage getting there has never interested me as a tactic to use for anything. I might see clear of scorching the earth if a child was in danger, or some other immediate emergency situation was occurring. But everyday? No way. I’m just not built that way.

If I get one of those mailers, I’m throwing mine away unread. I don’t care to know this stuff about people I know and people I don’t know. This forced outing is wrong on so many levels. I don’t want any part of it. Not in the outing of others. As for me, out me all you want. I still will do what I want. No matter who knows. I just wish my personal info had been treated as such, not used in a bid to make to behave in a certain way.

So… shame on you.

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