Sunday • April 25, 2021
Intrusive Letters From Nebulous New Non-Profit Organization About Columbia Association Elections
By Steven Keller
Many Columbia residents who didn’t vote in past Columbia Association (CA) elections have been receiving an intrusive letter from a nebulous organization entitled the National Voting Behavior Institute. An example of the letter, sent to a District 4 Wilde Lake resident four days before this year’s CA election, is shown below.
The letter states that the recipient has been identified as a “super voter” who voted in the 2018 & 2020 primary/general elections, but had not regularly voted in prior CA elections.
The letter then proceeds to subtly shame the recipient by stating “your neighbors have a higher-than-average level of participation in hyper local elections” , informs the recipient of the exact number of “proximate neighbors” who have regularly voted in CA elections, and states that the recipient that they and their neighbors will be contacted later to explain why they did or did not vote in this year’s CA election.
The letter contains an @NVBI.org email address, however the website http://www.nvbi.org/ is still “under construction” (UPDATE: now a dead link).
There has been a little discussion about this already on Reddit here, and some important questions have been raised (quotes included below):
“Who is reporting on village elections results and whether I voted in my village elections? Clearly someone has been passing on this information to whatever “non-profit” this might be.”
“The way these mailings can work is to target who gets them and only mail to households you think will vote the way you want, that way they have an extra push while households who may not align with you aren’t reminded and stay home.”
More digging needs to be done to discover as much as possible about this “National Voting Behavior Institute” organization — particularly its leadership, its funding sources and its true motives for initiating this invasive letter campaign.