A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Platitudes and snooping, too

Written November 2nd, 2014 by Hasso Hering
Hard to believe a regular voter would need this.

Hard to believe a regular voter would need or want this exhortation..

Something that came in the mail struck a wrong note. It was labeled a “personalized vote history” of the named mail recipient. And the message sounded wrong not just because of its gratuitous platitudes but because of the level of unwarranted snooping that it reveals.

Platitudes? “Thank you for being a voter — voting is the most important part of keeping our democracy working,” it says. Well, it’s important but not as important as honesty, competence and devotion to freedom on the part of the people voters elect.

As for the “personalized voting report,” it says: “You were a voter in 5 of 5 elections, according to public records for your current address — that’s above average for your neighborhood.” The piece, a large postcard, correctly notes that whether someone has voted is a matter of public record. Still, who would be so nosy as to look up the voting history of ordinary citizens who have no involvement in politics or public life? Not just the voting history of targeted individuals but, if the postcard is to be believed, entire neighborhoods?

The mailing points out that election day is Nov. 4, a reminder that you would think the senders would consider unnecessary given that a voter they rate as “excellent” on the card is most likely aware of the date.

The senders were too shy to identify themselves openly. But the postcard had a return address, in Portland. It turns out to be the office of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, which claims to be nonpartisan but has been campaigning heavily for Democrats. For a group that pays for a mass mailing of a glossy election reminder to people who have already voted — and panders to them for their voting history — “conservation” is not the first word that comes to mind. (hh)

4 responses to “Platitudes and snooping, too”

  1. Jim Engel says:

    In my opinion there should be NOTHING available to any “record miners” about my voting or even party affiliation! I would carry that further to the extend that not one iota of info the government has on me should be available! This nonsense about “public access” is a bunch of liberal rot. JE

  2. Chris P says:

    I think they send the same thing to everyone. Mine said the same thing and I haven’t even lived in my neighborhood long enough for there to be 5 elections!

  3. Peg Richner says:

    “Although I admit that the outcome in a stateless society will be bad, because not only are people not angels, but many of them are irredeemably vicious in the extreme, I conjecture that the outcome in a society under a state will be worse, indeed much worse, because, first, the most vicious people in society will tend to gain control of the state and, second, by virtue of this control over the state’s powerful engines of death and destruction, they will wreak vastly more harm than they ever could have caused outside the state. It is unfortunate that some individuals commit crimes, but it is stunningly worse when such criminally inclined individuals wield state powers… Only states can pose truly massive threats, and sooner or later the horrors with which they menace mankind invariably come to pass…” – Robert Higgs

    Hasso, FYI, Bob Higgs will be speaking in Portland November 22 for Freedom Seminars. I plan to attend since Higgs is one of the most thoughtful and knowledgeable libertarians out there. Peg


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