Mystery mailer causes voter outrage in Dahle-Kiley race

“There is outrage this week from California voters and voter advocates after a controversial mailer showed up just days before a special election,” as KCRA is reporting.

“The mailers come from a group called the Northern California State Voter Project, but there’s no website and no phone number for the promoters, whose only known address is a post office box.

“The mailer threatens to reveal people’s voting history to friends, family and neighbors.

“’I was really upset,’ said Susan Strand, a voter in El Dorado County. ‘I felt violated.’

“Strand showed KCRA 3 the letter she received from Northern California State Voter Project.

“The letter includes a chart with names showing her who voted in her neighborhood and who did not — with a warning that her name might be on the list if she fails to vote in the upcoming special election for California Senate on June 4.

“‘I did not know that some of our information is available to the public, Strand said. ‘But I really felt like this was an invasion of my privacy.’

“The address for the Northern California State Voter Project is just a post office box at the West Sacramento post office, where ownership records are considered confidential.

“But the group’s hidden message of outing nonvoters is troubling to Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation.

“’It’s telling voters: ‘We’re watching you. We know if you’re voting. We know if your neighbors are voting.’ And it’s trying to vote-shame people into voting, and that’s just not the way to go.”

“’We have very strong disclosure laws in California,’ Alexander added. ‘But this mailer apparently is able to skirt those laws because it doesn’t actually say to vote for one candidate or another.’

“The state Assembly is the battleground for Senate District 1, where Brian Dahle and Kevin Kiley, both Republicans, are vying for an empty seat vacated by Ted Gaines.

“The Kiley campaign denied any involvement in the mailers.

“The Dahle campaign did not return phone calls to KCRA 3.

“And while it’s not clear who sent the anonymous mailers, California’s top elections official, Alex Padilla, sent KCRA 3 a statement, proclaiming, ‘The Secretary of State’s Office is reviewing whether this mailing violates state election law.'”

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

8 thoughts on “Mystery mailer causes voter outrage in Dahle-Kiley race”

    1. Hey, “Jeff”! We had no idea where it came from but suspected the other campaign based on who was getting it — as far as we heard only in the 6th Assembly District.

      But if you really have a question, feel free to email. Dropping blog comments is not the most reliable way of communicating, you know?

      1. I did email you. With a signed name, no less. And I connected with you via LinkedIn. And I know this is hard for you to swallow, but you work for “me the people” now, not the Redding Gazette or whatever. Customer service is paramount. Hope to see you at the Fair this summer. Cheers,

      2. Saw your email about the notorious fair photo, as you know. Did not see one about the mailer. Email’s tricky sometimes. I regularly have my own notes to myself spam-filtered.

  1. Our ballots went into the shredder and out with the trash right after we got them. This will be a historically low ballot return, 2 wink and nod candidates — an insult to the voters of Nevada County.

  2. Wasn’t there also a Dahle mailer with a tea party/jefferson guy claiming to be a Democrat who dropped out of the race after the ballots were printed?

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