'Grandma Brigade' Gathers Data on Minnesota Voters
ProPublica: Nosy seniors keep Democrats' database up to date
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2013 4:39 PM CST
A voter casts her ballot on Aug. 14, 2012, in Bloomington, Minn.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

(Newser) – It's no secret that both political parties are compiling as much info as they can on voters for their databases. But ProPublica has details on the unusual way Democrats get the job done in Minnesota, thanks to a group called the Grandma Brigade. "These women, in their 50s, 60s and 70s, no longer want to knock on doors for the Democrats," writes Lois Beckett. "Instead, they support the party by gathering public information about other voters."

One 76-year-old tracks public records of voters who move into or out of the area, which she says is fun for a "nosy old lady." The 61-year-old founder of the group watches for obituaries so others using the database to call prospective voters don't waste time. Others track letters to the editor and callers of radio shows to see whether they can glean info to add to a particular voter's file. It's especially important in Minnesota, where a voter's registered party isn't public information. But rest assured that similar efforts of greater or lesser scale are under way in all the states. Click for the full story.

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Showing 3 of 26 comments
Jan 14, 2013 7:42 PM CST
I like the point about 'ratting out' what's said around the dinner table. If this was a Republican group, the phrase 'NAZI Germany' would be appearing with monotonous regularity in the comments.
Jan 13, 2013 8:29 PM CST
The key, in Minn., is that political registration information is not public information. So the parties must compile their own databases.
Jan 10, 2013 8:29 PM CST
This story sounds quaint but is actually no different than what the Stasi did in East Germany. What info do they collect under what biases and who determines what is right or wrong, good or bad, pro or con? The collection of private information is what Gestapo Pigs do. This is an extension of the long term surveillance society that ALL Americans MUST resist and actively fight. What I do legally and by choice is my business ONLY. It is no motherfukkers business ever. Wake up you stupid sheeple. The Feds are tracking you every minute now. What you think, where you are, who you talk to, what you say, what you spend, what you ingest, what you believe. Do I want some ultra-Christian puritan judging me? Or some faceless civil servant with a all invasive NSA network combing thru my email posts judging my "loyalty" to a corrupt and police controlled minority? It is already happening. Go look at the company Palantir and watch some of their demos. They can find out when you last wiped your ass. It is already in place and absolutely Nazi. We are nearing a time that is the duty of real patriots to destroy the enemies within.