If there's one lesson I have learned from my runs for minor office [Buncombe Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor], it has been to greatly increase my appreciation for the secret ballot. It seems nothing less than miraculous that suddenly, in a community that, far from outgrowing middle school, merely heaps employment concerns upon its oppressions, [and] election day can turn a political and personal world of absolutely zero-solidarity, total-pariah status and nearly universal censorship into one with over 12,000 secret admirers. …
One other thing that I have discovered about the secret ballot in my campaigns is its limits. I learned that although individual votes are secret, neighborhood (precinct) votes are not.
This neighborhood voter information will be extremely useful when I choose which neighborhood to live in, as it should be for everyone, but it also could easily subject voters to collective retaliation. …
— Alan Ditmore