electionlineWeekly

‘Vote shaming’ grows in popularity for GOTV
Some turned off by what they see is invasion of privacy

In the days leading up to the 2014 Midterm Election, our former colleague Dan Seligson became part of a growing trend.

In his mailbox was an official-looking document detailing his voting history and comparing his voting history to his neighbors’.

While the details about his voting history weren't correct, Seligson, like many others, was none-too-pleased about the attempt to “vote shame” him.

“…[F]rankly, it wasn't an incentive to vote. It made me lash out at the organization that thought this was a good idea,” Seligson said. “I was motivated alright, motivated to tell them how much they insulted me.”

Seligson isn’t alone. Since 2008, “vote shaming” or social pressure as academics and others prefer to call it has become an increasingly popular tool in the GOTV toolbox.

During the 2014 election cycle, there were news reports — typically about angry voters — from Alaska to Maine to Florida and lots of places in between about voters receiving “vote shaming” materials. Read More…