By Connie Denney

It has begun! Midterm election season is upon us. Perhaps we can think of it as the political teams’ version of basketball’s March Madness. Unfortunately, it lasts longer. I won’t carry this analogy further, lest it stray into qualifications to participate, offensive and defensive strategies, fair play, etc.

When the large tan-colored envelope with bold black print proclaiming “2018 Voter Registration Confirmation Survey” with a second line in smaller print, “& Pledge to Vote of 10,000,000 Christian Americans” arrived a while back, I was curious enough to open it. Looking at it later proved thought-provoking, though probably not in the way the sender intended.

A big dark arrow under the words “Voter Name” pointed to my name and mailing address. The postmark in the upper right hand corner indicated a mass mailing. The names of my U.S. Representative and two Senators were right there on the front. The back of the envelope assured that my answers would be included in a tabulated report to be shared with these officials as well as the President of the United States and Governor of Tennessee, all individually named.

Although I am not naming the organization sending this survey (names of candidates, political parties, whatever, are beside the point here), there was a cover letter from its founder/chairman.  It addressed the importance of attention to the enclosed survey, previous efforts of the organization, previous achievements AND the importance of my chipping in with a donation.

On to the survey. The goal stated on the introductory page is pretty specific for registering targeted voters and comes with a price tag of $11.25 million for the “Battle Plan.” It gets even more specific: “Remember also that it costs us about $4.50 for each brand new Christian voter we register.” Near the bottom of the page the words “important donation reply” are all caps and underlined, drawing my attention to the back of the form, where I could indicate my “very best donation” amount. Just above the boxed-in information for putting a donation on my credit card, there’s box to indicate that although I cannot make a “truly significant contribution” to stop the horrors predicted, I’m enclosing $10 to help cover the survey.

If you are still with me, opening the page lengthwise reveals the survey and pledge to vote with ovals to be filled in beside answers closest to my point of view. There’s an invitation to write in answers and comments — just not much room. There’s Part A with three questions and Part B with six questions. The last question? You guessed it.  It asks for “your best donation.” A self-addressed envelope, which would go to a post office box in Georgia, leaves the place for a first class postage stamp uncovered.

Voter registration information is public record. So, voters can expect more and more mailings as we approach election time. Some information is helpful. Some is not — except to make us think.  All things considered, I do believe I have given this survey as much time, attention and energy as it deserves. The next one is likely to have a shorter route to the shredder.