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SPIGOLON: Political ads came in droves
Political ads

A lady from Lubbock, Texas, just sent a postcard to my house.

We’ve never met but she wrote that she prayed for my wife and me — which was nice because I often need prayer.

But then she threw in the reason she probably sent out the same postcard to thousands of potential voters in Georgia: “Please vote to elect Senate candidates with Biblical values.”

It was organized by a Plano, Texas-based initiative led by staunch conservative TV talk show host Mike Huckabee called MyFaithVotes®.

Among the group’s requests was to “oppose socialism,” which told me which side of the ballot they favored even without me knowing who Huckabee was.

However, it was not alone in stuffing my physical mailbox, email inbox, and messages on my cellphone with appeals for candidates from both parties.

There is Vote for Respect, which apparently is connected to the left-leaning group United for Respect that seeks “a world with fair pay, a fair workweek, and respect at work.”

It wanted me to “elect Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock and put working families first” — implying the two Democrats would help save Georgians from evictions and help them pay their bills while the nation deals with the pandemic. 

My vote has been cast for this election for weeks without touching one of those Dominion voting machines whose manufacturer, I will just say, has kind of been in the news lately.

So, if I’ve already voted and it can be verified publicly, why am I still getting three or four direct-mail campaign pieces every day since the runoff campaigns began after the General Election votes were counted?

I’ve been getting at least four a day in the mail for weeks. They are flowing in from both sides — both from the candidates and their many supporters who believe the world is going to end if their person is not elected.

Many of them are beautiful, four-color print pieces featuring high-resolution photos of the smiling, attractive candidates they favor.

They also feature low-resolution, grainy, black and white photos of their opponents — taken from bad angles — which make at least one of them appear to be Dracula on meth.

Some are more gracious than others and deal solely with the candidates’ stands on the issues vs. their opponent’s — all while not using the old trick of attractive person in color vs. unattractive person in black and white that some ad executive somewhere believes still works.

Like two-thirds of Newton County voters in the last election, I voted without going to the polls on Election Day in the U.S. Senate runoff.

I commute from a neighboring county and, because of my work hours, it’s not convenient for me to travel to my home precinct to vote on Election Day and then travel to work. 

I know polls open at 7 a.m. and stay open until 7 p.m. I’m glad county election boards in Georgia allow those hours.

Nevertheless, I’ve either utilized the in-person advance voting or mail-in voting options in recent years to cast my ballot.

Mail-in voting is a whole other debate for another time. Changes are coming for that option, and quickly, in the upcoming session of the General General Assembly.

Suffice it to say I was using that option long before COVID struck and it became a source of friction nationwide.

I saw both methods of voting as ways to give me a more flexible time schedule to vote than on Election Day.

As such, my votes was in. What we were getting in the mail could not change our votes.

Did it come out in the final days that one candidate plies young men with special beverages which changes the into donkeys, just like in the classic Disney cartoon “Pinocchio”? 

That would be pretty strange. But advertising I don’t want in my mail or phone could not change my vote, no matter how much I liked “Pinocchio” when I was a kid.

So why are these obvious opinion pieces still among the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of campaign spending by the candidates and their surrogates?

Because they often work and because they are an efficient way to target specific groups of voters compared to the much more expensive TV ads cannot, experts say.

It’s also considered the most credible and persuasive forms of campaign advertising and has the most impact, they said.

So they cost less and can have more impact for a candidate or organization, which is why they’re still piling up at my house.

I guess that’s why I saw a grainy, black and white photo of a scary-looking Kelly Loeffler. Or the nice Christmas card that, on the inside, wanted me to vote against the Democrats?

Oh boy. I can’t wait until the governor’s election in 2022 to see what everybody comes up with.  

Tom Spigolon is news editor of The Covington News. He may be reached at