Colorado SOS Promotes Dubious Voter Self-Suppression Effort

Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ press shop, which is headed by a former Denver Post reporter, runs a blog they use to promote all kinds of stories–some of which seem a little outside the SoS’s purview, but generally the reporter in question gets forgiven due to genial relations with both sides of the aisle.

Today, however, a post by state employee Julia Sunny promoting a political group’s project to “opt-out” voters from political ads is raising eyebrows, and questions about the appropriateness of this taxpayer-funded content:

Tired of receiving all those election calls even after you’ve voted? The “I Already Voted” initiative in Aurora is set to change that.

Founder Jon Haubert started the initiative for the benefit of both citizens and candidates to “reduce the number of unnecessary political advertisements at election time,” according to the “I Already Voted” website. It is designed to save campaigns from spending money on a voter who has already voted and saves the voter from receiving an overload of political ads.

Once you have voted, you can head over to the IAV website and submit your name, address, and date of birth. I Already Voted will then notify candidates, campaigns and media to stop targeting those voters. Haubert assures users that the information they submit will be safe….

The first problem here is that Jonathan Haubert is very, very far from a nonpartisan good Samaritan looking to altruistically make the process better. Haubert, a registered Republican and policy advisor to the conservative Heartland Institute, was a top aide to former Rep. Richard Pombo, one of Congress’ most notorious hard-right, anti-environment Republicans–and was accused of wide-ranging corruption as chair of the House Natural Resources Committee. That experience served Haubert well when he came to Colorado to help launch Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED), this state’s most notorious pro-energy industry political advocacy group.

And let’s be very clear about what Haubert’s goal is: reducing the volume of information distributed to voters about elections. “Opting out” of election information might sound attractive during the heat of election season, but it’s just not a good idea from any responsible civic perspective. Even if you’ve already personally voted, that information could be relevant to others you come into contact with. Perhaps more important depending on your own affiliations, the partisan operative running this program makes giving over any personal data inadvisable–unless you want to help the conservative political “industrial complex” improve their targeting of you for their own political ads, a side bonus to the primary goal of taking voters out of the information loop.

In short, this is nothing the Secretary of State should ever be promoting with state resources.

5 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ModeratusModeratus says:

    As if the user logs of Colorado Pols don't go right into America Votes?

    • DawnPatrol says:

      Shemp, why do you and your immoral party and your immoral president support denying non-GOP Americans their right to vote? Are you all Communists? Or worse?

    • Republican 36 says:

      Do you have any evidence to prove your assertion?

      Now back to the issue in this thread. In this day and age, any campaign, and most of them do this, can go down to the clerk and recorder and find out who has already voted. Campaigns then stop sending emails, direct mail, knocking on their door, or phoning them because its a waste of the only two resources a campaign possess – time and money. We simply don't need the organization Mr. Haubert is attempting to set-up. Voters become very weary of the television and radio ads but Mr. Haubert's organization won't stop voters, including those who have already voted, from receiving information from those sources. Whatever his motive may be for setting up this organization it certainly isn't to prevent people who already voted from receiving campaign information. Campaigns on both sides already have taken care of that. 

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      Didn’t your bff Carnegie once proclaim there weren’t anymore than 20 people that monitored this site and it was a complete waste of time to be here?  Looks like he finally took his own flawed advice and we’re all beneficiaries. I doubt our little roster here would hold much interest for America Votes  

      Now go back to Grammy’s sock drawer and contemplate how you’re going to spin your #NeverTancredo moniker once the cannabis-friendly ex-Congressman pulls out a victory in the primary. 

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