Political mail from candidates and issue advocates may have been clogging your mailbox lately, but this past weekend, did you get one from an organization called "Working America" that says it is your Voter Report Card?
I received one, and it told me that I was a voter in one of the last five general elections, according to public records for my current address. It compared my participation in those elections to my neighbors and said I was "Below Average".
Now, in my defense, this is the first general election at my current address, so I'm not sure that's a fair analysis. But as a reporter over the years, I've also made the decision not to vote because I end up covering the candidates. Just Saturday alone, I ended up covering the statewide Democratic slate in the morning and then U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin in the evening.
The postcard reads:
"All citizen should have a voice in their government. Our democracy works best when everyone is a voter--including you.
That's why we've selected you for this important research project. In the future, we hope to send you an updated Voter Report Card before each election."
The mailer makes no plea for support of any particular candidate and it only directs readers to a League of Women Voters website for candidate profiles.
After some research, I discovered Working America is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. A 2010 background piece by the organization claimed that 60 percent of Working America's members members were moderate or conservative, despite the political ties between organized labor and Democrats.
I left messages with a WA spokesperson Monday to learn a little bit more about their efforts but haven't heard back.
My verdict: Nothing nefarious afoot here....just a way of using a little bit of neighborhood peer pressure to get people out to vote.