Residents Say Letter Sent to Placer County Neighborhoods Encourages Voter Shaming

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ROCKLIN — Nestled between junk mail was a surprising letter sent to voters across Placer County.

“This is an absolute violation of everybody’s privacy,” said local voter Amanda Petersen.

It starts by reminding voters like Petersen of an upcoming special election. Then it goes on to list their neighbors’ names and whether or not they voted in the last three elections.

“At what point does that line get crossed that we’re sharing personal information that nobody needs to know?” Petersen told FOX40. “Who is trying to shame these people though? Who is this organization?”

The letter appears to be sent from a group called the Northern California State Voter Project. They do not have a website, just an address for a generic P.O. box in West Sacramento.

“If it’s really to get people to vote, why isn’t there an organization you can actually contact?” said voter Heather Appel.

The group said it plans to send out a follow-up note after the special election on June 4, which would say whether people voted or not.

“All of that information that’s in the letter is allowed to be on the letter by law,” said Ryan Ronco, the clerk-recorder-registrar of voters for Placer County. “What we don’t like in this office is the implication that people are going to be ratted out.”

Ronco said they had never heard of the organization before getting roughly two dozen reports of the letters over 24 hours. While voting history is public record, they say every voter should be able to cast their ballot free of intimidation.

It’s why they reported it to the Secretary of State’s Office.

“Even though I want 100% turnout, I don’t want people to go out there and vote because they feel threatened in some way,” Ronco said.

The secretary of state is investigating to see whether the mailing violates any state election laws.

In the meantime, Petersen just hopes her personal information isn’t being sent out to neighbors too.

“While it’s a right for everybody who’s an American citizen to vote, I don’t believe that my status as voting is anybody’s business, whether I voted or not,” she said.

The Secretary of State’s Office urges anyone who has received the letter to give them a call. They believe this reaches well past Placer County.

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