Organization cancels voter history mailers

By Evrod Cassimy - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It was an attempt to shake up residents in the commonwealth, encouraging them to get out and vote. But after much controversy, the non-profit organization, Know Campaign, has decided not send out mailers to residents listing their neighbors voting history.

"I would not like it," said neighbor, Steven Saltzberg. "I'm a little concerned that all of this is in the public record."

The idea began with Debi Girvin, the organization president. Her election expert advised her that what she planned to do was perfectly legal because the information was already public. She declined an on camera interview but admitted her tactic was quote "aimed to peer pressure those who typically don't vote into doing so" and that "making a difference was worth the risk to shake people up." Some people we spoke with understood her intentions.

"Your neighbor could already obtain this information," explained Anthony Smith. "This company is only making it simpler to have. So I guess their issue should be more with the fact that their voting history is a matter of public record."

The mailings would have gone out Wednesday but Girvin says she did not want to walk into a situation where people questioned the legality of what she did. She has no plans to distribute the mailers in the future but is working on another project to increase voter turnout.

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