Las Vegas Sun

January 25, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

When people vote, it should be private

Another view?

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Yesterday, I got another telephone call from a volunteer for a political party (surprise, surprise).

Since it was a real person from the party I support, I answered the call and talked to him.

However, when I told him that I was not voting early, he presented an interesting argument for doing so.

I was told that if I voted early, I would not get any further telephone calls from anyone advocating any party or party affiliates.

After I hung up, I considered what he had said about early voting.

I always thought voting was by secret ballot and that it would make no difference when I voted.

What I was told is that my early vote would be public knowledge and I would not be harassed by further telephone calls.

At first, I considered this to be just another ploy but wondered why he would say something like this.

If, in fact, I do vote early and avoid future telephone solicitations, how do all of the political party representatives and PACs know I voted and therefore stop calling me?

If this voting information is available to everyone, who is to say my actual vote is not known?

I understand the Nevada law that allows early voting, but if my early vote is public knowledge, then the Nevada legislators need to change the law and stop early voting.

There is absolutely no one who has a right to know when or for whom I vote. I will vote on Nov. 6.

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  1. I welcome the telephone calls [at reasonable hours], welcome the door to door campaigners, even on Sundays. Once every 4 years is not that much of an inconvenience to endure.


  2. Enjoyed your letter, Mr. Stilley, but I think you are operating under a misunderstanding.

    From the phone conversation, I don't see where the elections people nor anyone in Government shares information with any campaign staff people at all.

    The answer is a lot more simple.

    I could gauge from what you talked about on the phone that the campaign staffer did not have any advance information. Nor did they need it.

    Because YOU volunteered the information on the phone. And the campaign staffer acted like he/she knew that already. And I would lay odds he/she didn't. They just used what you told them and are playing on your emotions, trying to use that information you volunteered to manipulate you into voting early.

    No one in any way shape or form provides that information.

    They said they would take you off the phone calls if you TOLD them you voted early. And you didn't do that, so they played on misperceptions on your part.

    It's voting tricks. That's more the answer to the problem, rather than nefarious campaign staffers finding out inside information. And there isn't any conspiracy that the Government knows your voting habits or when you voted. All they do is make sure you're able to vote.

    But believe what you want. I guess it's far easier to point fingers during the silly season before an election.

    But I understand where you are coming from. Although everyone pretty much knows how I'm going to vote (straight Democratic Party ticket all up and down the ballot), I always wait for election day. I don't believe in early voting.

    And the reason for it is simple. For years and years and years and years, I always voted by absentee ballots. Because I was never in the United States. I am a retired U.S. Navy Veteran. And it might be a quirk on my part, but I enjoy actually going in person and casting my ballots on election day. Because I never got that chance before due to serving my country.

    So, I guess what I'm saying is don't let people snow you to think something that isn't true on the phone. Do your thing. When you vote, someone simply cannot tell you when, where, why and who. That is your power as an American citizen. IT CANNOT be taken away from you. Only influenced. Don't let them influence you. Don't let them buy your vote neither. Make your own choice.

  3. As usual, Colin is wrong. Voter lists and party affiliations are public records and, therefore, available to those interested in the information (at a price, of course). When you vote, that becomes public info and is not private. That is as it should be in order to help prevent fraud. However, whom you vote for is private. As for candidate and pollster calls, they should be covered by the "Do Not Call" list just like any other nuisance call. Our homes should be as inviolable from phone calls as it is from other trespassers.

  4. He lied to you.

  5. He most certainly lied to you. I voted over the weekend and received MORE calls yesterday than any other day so far in this election cycle.

  6. The letter writer is WRONG. When you go into the voting booth, it is private, and any comments or claims made by the voter or the non entity on the other end of the phone are irrelevant. Everyone's vote is private and exempt from evaluation by an outside party. I have told pollsters who I was going to vote for, but how do they know if I'm telling the truth, or what they want to hear? Voting is still by secret ballot, as it should be, and nobody making a phone call has any influence on that.