While much the GOP does hacks me off, campaign tactics rarely get me angry from either side. I started my career in politics as a campaign guy and I remain impressed at the innovative ways campaigns work and try to reach voters.
I am not a swing voter. Having been an elected Republican and voting routinely in Republican primaries, I am classified as a “Hard Republican.” I do not get much mail, nor do I get a lot of voter contact. I am a dependable vote for the GOP. Neither party need waste money on me.
My wife, however, is a swing voters. She votes reliably in general elections, but she does not always vote in primaries. Consequently, she has been bombarded by the GOP with tons of mail pieces in Georgia.
Back in 2012, Republicans were deeply outraged by mail produced by the Obama 2012 campaign. That mail targeted voters with shaming, e.g. the mail pointed out to the voter that they had not voted but various neighbors had. That tactic feels like a severe invasion of privacy.
This year, with reckless abandon, the GOP is doing the same. It is an invasion of privacy and it really pisses me off. Neither party should do it.
A few days ago I posted my ballot to show how I had voted. The Secretary of State’s office contacted me to tell me doing so is illegal. While it seems like a free speech issue to me, posting of ballots can be used to intimidate and harass minority voters into documenting they voted. Back during the civil rights era and before, black voters were harassed and “encouraged” to vote the right way. Their completed ballot was the proof. The legal thinking is that putting up one’s ballot to attest that they voted a certain way could be used to intimidate and harass.
I get it, given history. I think target voters because they have not voted early is just another form of intimidation and neither party should engage in it. I do not know that it is effective, but I certainly know it makes me want to beat the mess out of the person sending snotty mail to wife displaying her voting record trying to embarrass and intimidate her into voting.