We vote by secret ballot in the USA. This is constitutionally protected for many reasons.
“We’ve teamed up with the good folks from Google”
I am confused about this new WordPress project for the 2014 midterm elections, emphasis mine:
“We’ve teamed up with the good folks from The Pew Charitable Trusts along with Google…. Together, we’re offering cutting-edge tools that give voters access to the customized information they need to cast a ballot on or before Election Day. We also want to provide a toolkit so that they can get more information on where to vote, which issues are at stake…”
I am worried about the release of voter information to WordPress. I am also worried about information transit in the other direction.
Will WordPress and Pew use or maybe even sell the information entered by me and my blog readers to local or national political campaigns, now or in anticipation of the 2016 election?
One of the prior comments said,
“I was concerned that certain states (in particular those that have a bad track record in terms of encouraging citizens to participate in the democratic process) might be withholding this information.”
I’m concerned about what information IS being released! WordPress’s Peter Slutsky replied,
Some states are better than others, but since there is not a unified process when it comes to this data, it’s just slow …
What data, exactly?
I do NOT want to bring down a hornet’s nest of internet outrage on me and my blogs! This is not about voter disenfranchisement nor Voter identification laws.
Voter education is a good thing but I know that every U.S. state has an elections website. I trust state and municipal government, regardless of party allegiances, to be careful. Businesses, e.g. Google and WordPress, and even Pew (is Pew a (501(c)3 or 501(c)4 organization?) make me feel uneasy. Television set delivered political campaign advertising, at an individual household level of granularity, is on my mind.
Set-top political campaign ads
Both the New York Times, see Data You Can Believe In: The Obama Campaign’s Digital Masterminds Cash In and MIT Technology Review, How President Obama’s campaign used big data to rally individual voters extensively investigated and reported on the use of individual voter-targeted advertisements for the Obama campaign in 2012. This activity was orchestrated by Google.