Would You Tell Me Who You Voted For?

My girlfriend and I have been doing a pretty large amount of volunteering for local political efforts here in Seattle, including Barack Obama and the Mass Transit Now Campaign. This has included lit dropping, my own work managing the Social Media and Text Message Strategy for WA Obama campaign, and phone banking for Obama and Mass Transit Now. It’s been a great experience.

While making calls, I’ve noticed an interesting trend: people ardently refusing to share how they voted in a particular race or on a particular issue.

Do most people feel this way?

I don’t understand the harm in sharing the way that you voted with another person after you’ve already voted. The vote is cast, the deal is done, so why not talk about it?

At first I thought that the people were just annoyed by the phone call, but that wasn’t the case, as most of them were quite talkative. Then I thought, maybe they’re ashamed or embarrassed by their vote, not wanting to tell me because they voted against the cause I was pedaling. Could be. Then I thought, maybe it’s generational, with older voters holding their votes more private & sacred, but this was dispelled when an 18 year-old people told me he wouldn’t share.

I guess I’ll just put this in the “things other people do that I’d never do” pile.

One Love. One II.


About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org. I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

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