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Keeping Secrets. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
captainsblog
captainsblog
Keeping Secrets.
Like it says on the tin icon: for my 37th time out of 37 eligible Novembers, I cast my votes for Congress, state officials and one or two local races. I tell you this because I'm proud of it and I hope it helps set a good example. Not only did soldiers die and suffragists suffer for the right of the franchise, there are too many out there determined to discourage its exercise, if not outright prohibit it, through legislative and media efforts.

But as far as I'm concerned, the secrecy of the ballot box is sacred, and that extends not only to who one votes for but to whether one votes- and that second, more easily determined, fact about a voter has become decidedly in-your-face and controversial in this year's contests.

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Both parties have pulled this stunt, but it sickens me, seeing my own party stooping to it.  Multiple sources reported letters like this one being sent to registered Democrats in New York State in the days before today's vote:

burstupdates-dem-voter-threats-e1414764708736

Defenders of the tactic replied, Oh, they just want to know your reasons for not voting to improve their chances in the future. Bullroar- this is as close to overt threatening as you can get without using letters clipped from magazine headlines. It screams, "nice franchise you got dere, be a shame if somethin happened ta it."

Locally, they've taken the trick one step sicker:




Apparently these maneuvers date to a 2008 study of Michigan election results where researchers tested the Shame Card and found that it worked. So now, with so many races being so close to evenly divided, both parties are looking for every little edge, and are  willing to intimidate preferred voters INTO voting even as they try to intimidate the unpreferred FROM doing so.

Every minute and every dollar going into such efforts could be better spent making voting both easier and more meaningful.  Although I cast my votes today, there was not a single seriously contested race on the entire ballot. Cuomo and his statewide ticket are ahead by dozens of points, our Congressional districts (save one an hour from here) are all gerrymandered into essential slaughters of challengers (in one case, BY a Slaughter;) our judicial races were almost entirely cross-endorsed; and I didn't even know who was running for Family Court or against our County Clerk until I saw their names on the ballot tonight.  The system desperately needs more ballot access for challengers and limits on the advantages of incumbency, or our votes will mean as little as they do in North Korea's recent 100% affirmation of their Dear If Missing Leader. (There was a ballot proposition here to attempt to limit the gerrymandering in this state, and of course all the "good government" groups opposed it because it wasn't goo-goo enough for them. I hope it passes anyway.)

We also have no early voting in this state, archaic registration rules (especially to be eligible to vote in party primaries), and a "fusion" set of minor party lines that just encourage extremists on both ends of the spectrum to make back-room deals with their respective devils in exchange for promises and patronage.  And it's worse in the increasing number of states using the boogeyman of "voter fraud" to limit ballot access for reasons they largely don't even bother to conceal anymore.

Still, it sucks less than not voting. I only hope I can join with this dude in the morning in saying a nationwide NO to Mitch McChinless:

Yertle2
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Comments
yesididit From: yesididit Date: November 5th, 2014 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)
i voted! for the third time in my life. i really dont like politics and politicians and avoided it best i could, preferring not to know. now i'm older and have a better understanding of the value of my vote and the damage those idiots can do. so i vote.
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