In the chaos leading up to Election Day on Tuesday, we’ve all been inundated with Get Out The Vote messages from both parties.
This is supposed to be the parties’ way of encouraging citizens’ active participation in our great democratic society. So when Pretty Nerd and I got a call from one of Rauner’s people, we were initially pleasant and politely informed them that we were already voting, though not for Rauner. Imagine our surprise when, lo and behold, Rauner’s campaign caller responded with “just don’t go to the polls then.” She repeated this statement once more after we informed her that we had as much right to vote as she did, adding “its the best way you can help.”
Although, this alone was enough to sway me from any consideration for Rauner, it also made me reflect on the entire democratic process. After a bit of research, I found this bit of code that suggests this tactic is ethically suspect and dangerously close to a felony. Sec. 29-4 in the Illinios Election Code states:
Prevention of voting or candidate support.
Any person who, by force, intimidation, threat, deception or forgery, knowingly prevents any other person from (a) registering to vote, or (b) lawfully voting, supporting or opposing the nomination or election of any person for public office or any public question voted upon at any election, shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.
Unfortunately, I don’t even know to whom I should report this type of behavior. Even more unfortunately, this type of voter discouragement is probably common practice and definitely on the low-end of the “bad politics” spectrum. If you have any ideas, let me know!