Are These Postcards Meant To Intimidate Michigan Voters?
At first glance, these Michigan voting reminder postcards look innocent enough. The handwritten message on the back, however, is making some uneasy.
While many in Michigan have already cast their vote in the upcoming election, the tsunami of political flyers, mailers, and yes even postcards has only grown. I almost missed the postcards in question. Normally I take all the mail to the recycling bin and sort through the junk, political flyers, and actual pertinent mail. I toss everything not important into recycling. The handwritten message caught my attention.
The postcard reads,
Thank you for being a previous voter! Who you vote for is a secret, but whether you vote is public information. After the election on Tues. Nov. 3rd, local organizations may follow up with you on your voting record.
The postmark was from Tampa, Florida. Who will be contacting me? My name is normally misspelled on 90% of both solicited and unsolicited mail. Someone I do not know took the time to not only spell my name correctly, has my address, and is also telling me some organization may be following up with me about my voting record.?
If that wasn't enough, there was a second identical postcard with the same message but this time was signed by Mary and postmarked as from Carol Stream, Illinois. Why are strangers from Illinois and Florida writing me with what appears to me as the same passive-aggressive veiled threat?
It turns out I am not alone. Some have taken to social media expressing concern and unease about these mailers. Whether these are meant to intimidate voters is unknown. What I can tell you is under no circumstances are you required to report or reveal who you voted for. While many are comfortable sharing who they voted for, not everyone is, and that is okay. In fact, you have the right to keep your votes a secret. However, it is not illegal to ask someone who they voted for.
To find more information on the origin of these postcards I looked them over closely to find an organization name or return address.
The writing circled says "Paid For By Indivisible Chicago Alliance". Indivisible Chicago Alliance does have a website and apparently also has an agenda. While I do not fault them for their efforts, I would call the messages on these postcards misguided.
If you have questions about what your rights are as a voter, look for legitimate sources like USA.gov. A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.