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Making The Voting Grade? MoveOn.Org Mails Report Cards


Do you generally sit out elections? An arm of the liberal group, MoveOn.org, may have found a way of shaming you into voting. Between now and Election day, it's mailing out millions of  voter "report cards" to residents of swing states like North Carolina. 

It's pretty simple. On the left, a bar graph compares the number of times you voted with the neighborhood average in the last five general elections. And then on the right, you get graded based on voting history. 

You get three stars for being an excellent voter compared to your neighbors, two stars for being a "good" voter and no stars if you're below average. 

On the back of the report card, eight kids are smiling straight at you. 

MoveOn.org Civic Action is the group behind the mailings. It's targeted 12 million potential voters in 11 swing states. In North Carolinas, the group sent over 630,000 report cards. 

Tate Hausman is the director of management for MoveOn.org. 

"We're very excited about the voter report card because in places like North Carolina, where the vote is sure to be close, it could absolutely be the difference between an Obama victory or a Romney victory," Hausman says.  

The mailings target people with low voting scores who are likely to support Democratic candidates. He says the group is out to motivate people to vote, not shame them. 

"By turning something kind of wonky like your vote history into something really easy to think about and digest, like your voter report card, that gives people kind of fun, friendly, neighborly competitiveness to get out to the polls."

Hausman says his group tested this tactic during the Delaware primaries and found it to be seven times more cost-effective than canvassing to change voting behavior.