“Patriotic Germans are Proud to Show How They Vote”

I’ve read that the above slogan was prominently displayed at polling places in Germany during elections in the immediate pre-Nazi period and/or during the “elections” which were held once Hitler had actually achieved power. (Only link I can find is the search summary screen here…see also this link, which mentions the surreptitious marking of ballots used by Nazis to identify opponents among those who did choose to vote in private.)

I was reminded of this story in 2008, in connection with the Obama/Democratic proposal to basically eliminate the secret ballot in union elections.

I was reminded of it again earlier in 2012, when a tweet went out under the name of and with the evident approval of Barack Obama: Add your name to demand that the Koch brothers make their donors public: http://OFA.BO/mfLtZX

And I was reminded of it again yesterday, when I saw this post from Ann Althouse, who lives in Wisconsin and who received what she called “incredibly creepy mail” from something called the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund. The letter listed the names of several of Ann’s neighbors, as well as her own, and by each name was information about whether the individual had voted in each of the last two elections…with a blank space for the coming election. “After the June 5th election, public records will tell everyone who voted and who didn’t. Do your civil duty–vote.”

Put these incidents together with the Obama’s administration’s decision to not prosecute what seems to have been a fairly blatant case of voter intimidation…and its use of Justice Department resources to stop states from carrying out actions to minimize vote fraud…and the pattern should be pretty clear. The “progressive” movement which is represented by Barack Obama and the Democratic leadership is not only a threat to the American economy and to America’s world position and security…it is a threat to the integrity of American democracy.

Also via Instapundit, see this post on a very strange mailing being sent out under the imprimatur of Harvard University. Recipients are given a list of political contributions, including party affiliations, made by themselves and several of their neighbors.

The letter claims that the information is being disseminated as part of a research project, but neither the letter nor the website to which it links is very specific about the nature of the research, the intended objectives, or how it is being funded. My email of 2 weeks ago to the Committee on the Use of Human Subjects in Research officer who was identified on the website has not been answered.

9 thoughts on ““Patriotic Germans are Proud to Show How They Vote””

  1. Here is the data set of individual contributions. This will be disclosures required by law I imagine. Both individual and SuperPAC disclosures:


    It’s a raw dat file so your hand holding OSs may not like it without a database to put it in. I just read he raw data, maybe try notepad … I dunno. Interesting reading. This is the Harvard study’s interest I guess. Not so strange AFAIKT.

  2. I am a printer/mailer in Washington state.

    All of the data mentioned in Ms Althouse’s post is publicly avaible, candidates can request a file from the assesors office of voter data which will include name, address, age, party affiliation, voting history. The “Greater Wisconson Political Fund” simply linked these data fields and created a variable data mailing.

    In 2012 we will be seeing a lot more of this type of “personalised” campaign mail.

  3. John L…

    I’m well aware that this data is publicly available, and of course those doing these mailings will use that fact as an excuse. But there’s a big difference between data living in a repository where it takes a little effort to get it, and proactively pushing it out in people’s faces for purposes of intimidation.

  4. I think that these mailers, at least around here, were targeted to certain districts or maybe just the city of Madison itself. I live in Fitchburg, which is a city that butts up against the south side of Madison. My mailing address is Madison, however, since Fitchburg doesn’t have a post office. I did not get the mailer like Althouse did. Knowing the source of the mailer (leftist/progressive) I think this might have been a trial run into more leftist friendly districts just to see what happens. Maybe they will try less left leaning areas in the future.

  5. If the objective is to get out the vote for leftist candidates via social pressure, I’d think they’d focus the mailing only on those areas with a strong left-leaning majority.

  6. I’m not a scientist, but isn’t it customary to have people volunteer to participate in an experiment? They’re forcing participation by publishing one’s voting history, distributing it around the neighborhood, and then informing them that they will be documenting their choice to vote/not vote in the recall election. Thuggish.
    Alternatively, as Iowahawk tweeted, who’s to say this isn’t just a way to inform the troops which apathetic citizen’s votes can be cast on their behalf?

  7. The publicizing of voter information may be subject to legal restrictions (it cannot be used for commercial purposes in Indiana, for instance) but much more important are the social restrictions. If you creep people out with how you use the data, people will vote for the other side on principle and they will call you names.

    What, specifically creeps people out varies from one place to another but any attempt to make it easier for a mob to come after you is likely to backfire.

Comments are closed.