Archive for November, 2012

Election Oddities

Election season is finally over!  Unlike in the past, I did try to keep up with the election this year.  I watched all three presidential debates as well as the vice-presidential debate.  I followed stories in the Washington Post as well.  I even stood on queue for an hour to cast my ballot on November Sixth.  I am glad it is over and done with, and I am very thankful that Rick Perry is not the president.  He sure was popular in Charleston while I was living there, but at least the primary voters bumped him during the primary.  I suppose now we have the budget issues to look forward to…more brinkmanship on the horizon!

So I had some interesting mail back in mid-October.  I was a registered independent in SC, and when I registered to vote in Virginia, there was not even an option on the form.  I am just stating this to make it clear that I am not (knowingly) on a registrar of any conservative or liberal groups.  In mid-October, about a week after I submitted my own voter registration application, I received an odd notice in the mail from Americans for Limited Government. I was very curious about this notice, not because of the sender, but because of the red lettering in all capital letters “VOTE HISTORY AUDIT ENCLOSED“.  I was curious, very curious.

Upon opening the notice, I found the vote history audit and an application for voter registration.  There were not any overt political messages thankfully, but the message was encouraging me to register for the vote and be active in civic participation.  Nothing wrong with that.  The vote history audit, however, was rather creepy.  It did not show for whom I cast my ballot, but it had columns for 2004, 2008 and 2012.  It correctly showed that I did not vote in 2004–because I did not request my overseas absentee ballot in time–and that I did cast my vote in 2008.  For 2012, it was marked pending.  Even weirder though, where the names of six other voters with street addresses around my parents’ home.  While living overseas, my parents’ address was the address I used with the US Govt.  My parents’ next door neighbor, whose name I immediately recognized, also had his voting history in the audit.

I suppose voting attendance in and of itself is public information, but it felt a bit creepy to have what appears to be a conservative group sending out information to others about my voting attendance record.  I probably would not have blinked had my parents’ neighbors vote attendance history not been included in the notice.  The notice concluded saying that after elections the group would be sending an updated vote history audit to myself and my neighbors. Perhaps there was a hidden message, such as nag your neighbors to go out and vote?

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