Ann Althouse, a blogger and Wisconsin resident, received a mailer from a liberal group that’s more than a little disturbing in that it listed her name among the names of her neighbors noting who had voted and who had not.
The obvious intent was to shame people into voting.
I obscured names and addresses, but be assured, this was a list of real names and addresses of people who live near me, with the information about whether they voted in the last 2 elections. This is an effort to shame and pressure people about voting, and it is truly despicable. Your vote is private, you have a right not to vote, and anyone who tries to shame and an harass you about it is violating your privacy, and the assumption that I will become active in shaming and pressuring my neighbors is repugnant.
It maybe shouldn’t surprise us that this is happening in an election dominated by unions. For years unions have wanted to do away with the secret ballot when a given company’s workforce is voting on whether or not to unionize. The secret ballot offers those workers protections from both the unions and management, allowing them to vote their conscience free of intimidation.
The unions want to be rid of the secret ballot so that workers are more susceptible to intimidation. The same sort of intimidation they’re using in Wisconsin (though, obviously, these liberal activists aren’t privy to how people have voted).
But Wisconsin isn’t the only place where personal data is being used to harass and intimidate voters. At Hot Air they link to a mailer being sent out by researchers at Harvard which shows which candidates you contributed to and who your neighbors contributed to.
This seems to be a new tactic the left is embracing. From President Obama singling out for criticism private citizens who give political support to his opponent to gay rights activists in California using political contribution disclosures to harass supporters of a gay marriage ban, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of respect for privacy on the left these days.
Americans grown fearful of expressing their political views, or voting a certain way, is not a positive development for the health of our republic.