Re: Ballot coercion

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Mon Dec 03 2007 - 12:13:21 CST

Lillie wrote,

> There are two areas of concern, the actual disclosure of the
> identity of voters and their votes, and the believe even if
> unfounded that votes are not secret.
>
I agree. In general, it's also true that what people think about the voting
system -- rightly or wrongly -- is just as important as how it really works.
And, it's very difficult to change mistaken ideas about how it all really
works.

I would extend this notion to voter registration as well. Back in the 80s,
when I was more involved with grassroots politics, I did a lot of work
registering voters -- sometimes door-to-door. I found that a lot of people
refused to register to vote because they were worried about how the list
might be used for things other than voting. Some of the fears people
expressed to me were probably unfounded, but some of them were quite real.
In fact, voter rolls have been used (and are probably still being used) to
select people for jury duty. Guess what? Jury duty represents a financial
hardship for a lot of people. There are lots of cases where the lists have
been used for other things (e.g., marketing) as well. It was a big
problem. I could not assure anyone that the list would not be abused.

Alan D.

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Received on Mon Dec 31 23:17:03 2007

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