Friday, February 26, 2010

An Open Letter to Signature Collectors

Dear People Who Man the ‘Get the Guy on the Ballot’ Tables Outside of Public Libraries,

(More specifically, the woman running the republican ‘Get the Guy on the Ballot’ table, outside the Agave Library on Thursday afternoon,

Let me replay yesterday’s scenario for your consideration:

(Happily) “Are you a registered voter?”


(Happily) “Would you sign our petition to put Joe Shmoe on the ballot?”

“Do you have some printed material I can take with me or a website I can research so my husband and I can make an educated decision?”

(Caught off guard) “Well, not that you can take with you, but you can look at this pamphlet.”

“I’m sorry, but I need something I can take with me and really consider.”

(Grasping at straws) “Well, let me tell you about him.”

“No thank you. Unless you have printed material that I can take with me, read at my leisure, and research with my husband so as to make an educated decision, I can’t help you.”

(Getting angry and loud) “BUT . . .”

“I’m sorry, I am not going to make a hurried and uneducated decision.”

(Full out mad and screaming) “WELL I’M TRYING TO EDUCATE YOU!”

By this time I continue walking around the corner and to our vehicle as the woman continues screaming Lord knows what.

Petition Table Staff - Is this really what you’re trained to do?

I am not signing to get Joe Shmoe on the ballot unless I know who he is, what he thinks, and what he does, that he does what he says he’s going to do. Oh - and I agree with it all. I know I’m not voting for him. I know that I’m simply getting him on the ballot. However with precious little information – how do I really know if I want him on the ballot to begin with? I know that you think you’re educating me by handing me a flashy 1/3 pamphlet with propaganda for his cause.

But I’m not stupid, and I’m not signing anything until I know more about the guy and have discussed it with my husband.

If you don’t like it or agree with my methods, that’s fine - I’m not asking you to be happy with my response. But like I respect that you’re sitting there trying to get a guy on the ballot, and thus respond kindly, why can you not respect the fact that I require enough information to make an educated decision – and respond kindly?

Let’s also look at this from a P.R. angle.

You are a representative of your political party.

Arguing with me about my methods or reasoning is NOT going to win you any points. You don’t know me and are choosing to not listen to or understand me.

On top of completely guaranteeing my lack of cooperation and/or sympathy to your cause, all the people in the parking lot, entering the library, in the lobby, and exiting are watching you. They are listening to me responding in a kind and calm voice and they’re listening to you yelling and screaming and applying bad logic to a situation you aren’t going to win.

This is NOT going to encourage witnesses to happily stop, listen to what you have to say, and cooperate with your request to sign a ballot.

Just thought I’d let you know.


  1. This should be sent to your local paper! Seriously - you speak for so many!

    Now, maybe you can address those Girl Scout, Boy Scout, newspaper seller people who stand outside of Walmart. I have taken to entering through the side door or the cart return!

  2. YES! I agree with ingleside... send it to your paper.

    I'm the same way with people who call on the phone and want a donation for their cause. I ask them to send me information in the mail, but they won't do it unless I promise to donate.

    Not gonna happen.

  3. I think I had the same lady a few weeks ago in front of our library. I got the usual "is school out already?" when she saw the boys. So it quickly comes out that we homeschool and she says "Oh, then I know what party you vote for". Agast, I stare at her, "oh, really?". "Yes, you're Republican" "No I'm not" "Then what are YOU?" I'm beginning to wonder if I should even be having this conversation. "I'm Independant". She then said something like, "Well I know you won't want to sign to have medical 'mary jane' (code because my kids were there, how thoughtful)put on the ballot" I almost signed just to prove her wrong. Then I wondered if that's how she was playing me and decided to walk on. Who is training them?


Please . . . Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Eph 4:29