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Dem lawmaker sets out to shame New Yorkers into voting

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A Democratic lawmaker thinks shame and guilt are appropriate motivators for getting New Yorkers to vote.

New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres introduced a bill on Monday that would expose voting records by sending eligible voters a card listing elections they have participated in over the last four years, reported Fox5NY.  Of course, as a by-product, voters would be called out for any elections they also missed in the same period.

“It’s an embarrassment,” Torres said, referring to New York’s Campaign Finance Board report that only 25 percent of registered New York City voters cast a ballot in the 2014 general election.

The Bronx Democrat said his proposed bill had nothing to do with the “voting violation” mailers that Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz sent to voters in Iowa in January. The idea is his own as he seeks to get New Yorkers thinking.

“The point is to get yourself thinking about your own voter record, to hold yourself accountable to your voting,” he said.

Meanwhile, Torres seems to have support from the Campaign Finance Board; Its executive director said the cards may have a positive effect, reported Fox5. “Research shows that individualized reminders like these can help to spur voters to turnout on Election Day,” said Amy Loprest.

Spur or shame, Democrats may have missed the shade of difference.

Frieda Powers


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