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Satirical Blogger Uses 'Vampire Removal' Service as Ruse To Register Voters

By Caroline Spivack | October 6, 2017 11:48am | Updated on October 9, 2017 7:33am
 Satirical blogger Daniel Hetteix is using vampire hunting as a way to motivate people to register to vote.
Satirical blogger Daniel Hetteix is using vampire hunting as a way to motivate people to register to vote.
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Daniel Hetteix

BAY RIDGE —  This blogger knows what's at stake in next month's election.

Daniel Hetteix, author of a hyperlocal blog that pokes fun at politics, is scattering stacks of "Vampire Removal" postcards in cafes, laundromats and restaurants along Third and Fifth avenues enticing locals to join the cause of eradicating the undead with "the power of your vote."

"It's designed to kind of shock you," said Hetteix, a Bay Ridge resident who works as a technical specialist at Columbia University's Business School.

"Vampires are useful as a Machiavellian figure for politicians. I picked something very clearly fake that people would see and go, 'What's that?'" he said.

The "monster disposal" cards contain a link to a buried story on his blog, The Ambrose Light, named for 19th century newspaperman and satirist Ambrose Bierce and the former Ambrose Light tower used to illuminate the way into New York Harbor. In the post, readers are treated as recruits for the crucial task sussing out bloodsuckers from government. 

"Our neighborhood is under the influence of demonic forces beyond our control," the post reads. "They have infected the highest levels of government! They feed on our precious bodily fluids, and our tax-dollars! It is time to join the Vampire Removal Corps." 

But instead of garlic or a crucifix, Hetteix wants residents to wield their votes as a tool to affect change.

"It's really supposed to be a fun way to kind of trick people onto the voter registration page," he explained. "Maybe they register and maybe not, but even if a few people do, that's something." 

New Yorkers who aim to vote in the Nov. 7 general election must be registered with the local Board of Elections by Oct. 13. Those without state IDs can download, print and mail a voter registration form. Paperwork must be postmarked by Oct. 13 and arrive to the city's Board of Elections no later than Oct. 18. Voters also have the option of going to their election board's office or the DMV in person to register. 

At least one Bay Ridge resident appreciated the creative approach to motivating locals to get involved with politics.

"I think anything that gets people pumped to register and vote is great," said Sara Gutierrez. "I mean, it's vampires and voter registration? What's not to like."