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Ve haf vays of making you vote

Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014

* The Democratic Party of Illinois has a really creepy early voting mailer…

If you can’t read that second page, the party gives fair warning…

We will be reviewing our records after the election to see who turned in their ballot and may contact you to ask about your voting experience. Please do not disappoint us.

Um, wow.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - GV - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:39 pm:

    WE Over

  2. - phocion - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    Inexcusable. Dumb. Creepy. Bad. Forced error in the 9th inning.

  3. - Gooner - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    For some in the Illinois Democratic Party, it is still 1964.

    Although in their defense, hey, those sort of things worked back then, at least in Chicago

  4. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:44 pm:

    I hope the people creeped out by Sean Morrison’s PIs trying to knock off the Libertarians are at least equally outraged by this.

    There’s so much mail at this point, I would imagine a lot of people won’t even read the finer print.

  5. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:44 pm:

    Is the NSA involved too? :)

  6. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:45 pm:

    Great headline, btw, Rich.

  7. - John A Logan - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:45 pm:

    Only thing that could have made this worse would be a picture of Barack Obama flying a drone over a suburban neighborhood.

  8. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:45 pm:

    They know!

    It is so Democratic Party! LOL!

    Did you see the address?

    We will make you vote because we know where you live and what you got in your mailbox!

    That is right!

  9. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:46 pm:


  10. - Rockford's Finest - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    Wow. That is incredibly creepy.

  11. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    First they threaten Chicago ministers…now everyone.
    Very professional Dems, can’t resist the old ways, can you?

  12. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    ===creeped out by Sean Morrison’s PIs===

    Yes, because sending a creepy mailer and showing up at somebody’s house with a gun are so the same things.

  13. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    Little Big Brother — Mike Madigan — IS watching!

  14. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:47 pm:


  15. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:48 pm:

    And… Here is that GOTV I keep hearing about that is SO much stronger for the D’s… They left out or, George W. Bush will have you water boarded… Priceless.

  16. - my two cents - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    I just got a mailing that shows my voting record over the last three elections and it informs me I FAILED to vote in 2010 (not true!) and need to improve!

  17. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    My voting experience? What the heck are you supposed to say to that question?

    My voting experience was just fine . . . until you creeped me out and told me you might track me down to ask me about it.

  18. - Big Muddy - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    Jeebus, is that tone deaf. If I don’t vote are they going to throw a rock thru my front door and leave me threatening voicemails?

  19. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:51 pm:

    Our records indicate that you OR CURRENT RESIDENT recently received an absentee ballot in the mail.

    Fill out your OR CURRENT RESIDENT absentee ballot and mail it back to the address on the return envelope.

    Have you any idea how many Cook County cemeteries this mailer is going to?

  20. - Anon - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    Interesting, this is actually based on a study that was run I believe out of the University of Chicago on voter turnout and loss aversion in voting.

    Everyone says voter turnout is low, and that’s true, but its actually higher than tradition political economics would have you believe because of the marginal benefits to one voter over the whole.

    Since there is some effect of loss aversion/voter shame innately within the voter process the theory was that you could increase voter participation through various threats, such as publicly publishing their voter participation record.

    And it worked–I believe the study was in Ohio and Michigan. So it’s really no surprise that campaigns would seek to take advantage of these results.

    Sorry, wish I had a link to the paper!

  21. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    My voting experience?

    Check with OR CURRENT RESIDENT, I think he got my ballot!

  22. - Big Muddy - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    And after checking my mailbox a group called “Save Birth Control in Illinois” has a very similar and equally as creepy DM piece out as well.

    The Dem’s are ALL IN on the full creep-out methods this cycle.

  23. - Anon - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:54 pm:

    So laugh if you want, but its worked before in tests.

  24. - Snucka - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:54 pm:

    What’s creepy is the fact that Bruce Rauner made $30,000 per hour last year and opposes a minimum wage increase.

  25. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    Wait… There are over 20 comments… Nobody has blamed Rauner yet? I am sure there is some way it’s his fault…

  26. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    Feel like the “Please do not disappoint us” should have that picture from yesterday of Madigan peeping out of the mailbox next to it.

  27. - Reality Check - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    This is standard, boilerplate language these days and being used by both sides.

    As Anon 2:53 says, the tactics are based on academic and real-world studies.

    I believe the Americans for Prosperity/Koch Brothers mailer you posted recently has similar language, Rich.

  28. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    “Call this toll free number if you have questions on voting . . . like who to vote for. Remember, we’re watching you.”

  29. - Norseman - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:57 pm:

    Maybe we need a new constitutional amendment instilling the right not to take a ballot and be free from harassment.

  30. - Illannoyed - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    Wow…that’s terrible. I wonder who decided that the line about “disappointing us” was appropriate? It sounds threatening and extremely desperate.

  31. - Amalia - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    I received a mailer from Save Birth Control in Illinois that graded my voting habits….the records are clearly wrong, I did vote in an election which they have me not voting in. And a comparison of my votes to my neighborhood from America Votes which shows me as more likely to vote than my neighbors.

    I like neither of these mailers because they feel invasive. clearly all direct mail is based on a voter file that has information about me. but this feels more personal and in my face. and I don’t like it.

  32. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:00 pm:


  33. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    Is this sent to OR CURRENT RESIDENT’s registered address or to the absentee address? If it’s the former, seems to me they may not see it anyway, since they’re, well, absent.

  34. - Snucka - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    I mean, it sounds patronizing if anything. Not sure what’s threatening about it. I’m sure most folks won’t even read it.

    On the other hand, Bruce Rauner sent real armed thugs to intimidate voters. That seems a little threatening.

  35. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:04 pm:

    Now we know why Madigan is hiding in the mailbox (see Caption Contest 1)

  36. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:04 pm:

    Anon and Reality Check are correct. This is straight out of the experimental literature. These types of strategies work, so both parties are going to them more and more. A good book on the subject is Issenberg’s The Victory Lab.

  37. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:04 pm:

    This is only going to matter when;

    Household needs a garbage can
    Household needs a tree trim
    Household requests animal control
    Household needs “city” service…

    Otherwise it’s just creepy.

  38. - Anon - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:04 pm:

    Again, for everyone appalled by this…these aren’t for you. People who read political blogs about state and local politics are so into the weeds on politics that they likely decided who they were voting for before the primary.

    These are for drop off voters…and it has been proven that this strategy works in both theory and practice. So while it might be an ugly strategy, remember everyone: Not one campaign is interested in persuading any voter who is commenting on Capfax–including me–so relax.

  39. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:04 pm:

    Please do not disappoint us. You wouldn’t like us when we’re disappointed.

  40. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:05 pm:

    ==What’s creepy is the fact that Bruce Rauner made $30,000 per hour last year and opposes a minimum wage increase==

    Laugh. There you go! Talk about a creepy post!

  41. - OneMan - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:08 pm:

    It the time it would take you to disappoint us, Bruce Rauner will have something, something, something

  42. - OneMan - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    Please don’t disappoint us…

    Well it is what a lot of Quinn voters are likely thinking.

  43. - Esteban - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    Political malpractice is painful to watch.

  44. - Pius - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    My daughter received the mailer noting that she only voted in 2 of the last 3 elections. Except she was too young to vote in the first two of the three. Duh.

  45. - Ken_in_Illinois - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:17 pm:

    “What’s creepy is the fact that Bruce Rauner made $30,000 per hour last year and opposes a minimum wage increase.”

    Mr. Governor, don’t you have work to do?

  46. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:17 pm:

    Good thing you geniuses aren’t running the campaigns. There’s behavioral science behind this approach.

  47. - foster brooks - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:18 pm:

    I would rather get that in the mail than having a republican henchmen show up at my door step carrying a side arm

  48. - BIG R. PH - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:19 pm:


  49. - Snucka - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    =Laugh. There you go! Talk about a creepy post=

    Thanks, glad someone caught that. Just having a little fun.

  50. - Toure's Latte - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    It’s one thing to have way too much information about everyone at a campaign or party’s fingertips, it’s another to seemingly stalk and softly threaten people.

    This is terrible, so one can expect it will be SOP for both parties from now on.

  51. - my two cents - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:22 pm:

    I don’t think this mailer is so terrible, even if they were ridiculously ham-fisted in the way they went about it. They’re trying to get people to vote and that’s not a bad thing.

  52. - A guy... - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:24 pm:

    Demo, my man, I’m resisting the partisan whack here, but this is a very odd piece o’ mail man.

  53. - OurMagician - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:25 pm:

    This election continues to be the personification of the Simpsons episode where Sideshow Bob becomes mayor.

  54. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:29 pm:

    —Good thing you geniuses aren’t running the campaigns. There’s behavioral science behind this approach.—

    I could write a witty retort to this, but it would require me to break Godwin’s Law to do it.

  55. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    There’s research that shows that if people know they are going to be checked on, they vote.

    For example sending lists of who did and didn’t vote increases turnout.

    Dem operatives have wrestled with how aggressively to apply this knowledge.

  56. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    What I noticed about the Dem sample ballot sent in the mail is that it didn’t include the referenda.

    The point–as I understand–of the referenda is to provide an incentive for people to vote on something they care about.

    And then the Democrats forget/neglect to mention the referenda (and recommended votes) on the sample ballot.

    Seems… like a mistake.

  57. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    ==Demo, my man, I’m resisting the partisan whack here==

    Whack away. See my post @2:50. and @2:56.

  58. - 2 Cents... - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    The theory is correct…the script is lacking in approach though.

    This is a link that references the Michigan experiment. You can take it from there if you’re really board and want to research further.

  59. - Voice of Reason - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    This is more of a turn off for me… Id throw it in the trash. I assume its focus group tested, but wow.

  60. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:57 pm:

    Bush league. Stupid.

  61. - LizPhairTax - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    US disappoint YOU? Seems to work the other way most of the time.

  62. - OneMan - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 4:15 pm:

    Creepy and effective are by no means mutually exclusive…

  63. - A guy... - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 4:23 pm:

    I guess this means the “carrot” isn’t working.

  64. - Gooner - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 4:29 pm:

    So, if certain comments here are true, the mailer appears to be based on what is known as “research” and “science.”

    That, of course, explains the outrage from those here who lean right.

  65. - walker - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 5:05 pm:

    There are pleasanter ways to remind folks to turn in ballots they requested.

    There are better and more respectful ways to let them know you noticed.

    Just poor execution.

    It’s end-of-campaign brain cramps striking again. When your starters are beginning to lose it, it’s time to bring in the relief pitchers for the close.

  66. - A guy... - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 5:12 pm:

    If you’re a new voter, or from an immigrant family or newly registered….it’s just their way of saying Hello. How this is not construed as a scare tactic is a little hard to imagine. Very creepy indeed.

  67. - Rhino Slider - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 5:40 pm:

    It demonstrates a mentality within the Democratic Party of Illinois. Some staffers feel they can dictate as opposed to persuade people.

  68. - Coffee Cup - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 7:05 pm:

    That will keep many of the African-American Chicago voters in line. Strike fear in their minds so they will be afraid not to vote Democrat this election. Desperate times demand desperate measures. Barack doesn’t want to see his own home state go red for governor and wind up being embarrassed nationally.

  69. - BobInPeoria - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 7:09 pm:

    “We may sic the IRS on ya!!”

  70. - low level - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 7:19 pm:


    GET a CLUE - or see how they do it in DUPAGE

  71. - low level - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 7:33 pm:

    Coffee cup - you’re not from around here, are you? If you were, you’d know that African American communities have the lowest rates of early or mail voting. The ones most likely do take advantage of this are middle and upper middle class liberals - (lakefront liberal types). Why is that? The U.S. mail isn’t trusted by many. Election day in AA communities is still an event - largely stemming from the history of being denied the right to vote in the South.

    Nice try though.

  72. - downstate hack - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 7:43 pm:

    We WILL be watching you. Way over the top and your right Rich Creepy.

  73. - Hacksaw Jim - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 8:13 pm:

    “OR CURRENT RESIDENT” is used to save money on postage.

  74. - Responsa - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 8:46 pm:

    The company (or middle school students) who are compiling the past voting records that several people on this blog have already said are waay off base accuracy wise may be being paid a little too much by the Democratic Party of Illinois.

  75. - Responsa - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 8:53 pm:

    Also just noted the Deerfield address for the “recipient” of this mailer. This creepy threateny head-game stuff will play really really well in the 10th.

  76. - Vinnie - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 9:11 pm:

    What country do I live in?

  77. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 9:27 pm:

    Brilliant! These mailer are the nuclear bomb of GOTV. They generate a 12% bump in turnout within the mail universe. A better rate than calls or canvassing.

    Here is a NYT article laying it all out

    Both party used these mailers in the 2013 Virginia Governors race and Colorado Senator Bennett used it in 2010. It was the difference in both races.

    Creppy tactic yes, but it will be as much a GOTV fundamental and knocking doors by 2016.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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