D.L. STEWART: Not voting could be shameful


Will you vote tomorrow?

Don’t lie. You may be able to delude your spouse and con your co-workers into believing you’re going to go to the polls to fulfill your civic duty when what you’re really going to do is sneak out for a beer at your neighborhood tavern. But you won’t fool the Internet. 

>> What are the local tax issues and candidates on the ballot Tuesday?

In the latest creepy development in politics, which already has plenty of them, two new apps have been created that will expose your voting fidelity and party affiliation.

To be clear, these apps — VoteWithMe and OutVote — won’t expose HOW you voted. But they will let anyone who cares to check know IF you voted. 

Why that’s anyone else’s business is, at the very least, debatable. 

The apps’ proponents claim they’re a means of encouraging people to vote, citing research showing that people are more likely to vote if they think their friends and neighbors are watching. 

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“I don’t want this to come off like we’re shaming our friends into voting,” the chief executive of OutVote said in a New York Times interview. (But) “I think a lot of people might vote just because they’re frankly worried that their friends will find out if they didn’t.” 

While some voter information already has been a matter of public record, critics worry that having that information available for mass use at the tap of an icon also has the potential for mass abuse. One possibility that comes to mind is making it easier for Russians to use voter information they might not already have. 

But the apps definitely have rewards other than, you know, that keeping democracy alive thing.

Voters with perfect attendance at the polls will be identified as “super voters” on OutVote and have smiley-face emoji with red hearts for eyes next to their names. 😍

By contrast, vote skippers get a sad-face emoji with a tear rolling down its cheek. 😢

Like all good Americans, my goal in life always has been to have a smiley face with red hearts with eyes next to my name. Still, if I wanted to let people know I voted, I’ll just take one of those “I Voted” stickers the poll workers hand out and wear it proudly on my lapel. 

Right next to the one that says “I Washed My Hands After Using a Public Restroom.”

>> Get ready for Election Day with our interactive voters guide


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