The New York State Democratic Party has apparently taken to a new strategy to mobilize voter turnout: intimidation.
The party said it sent a million registered voters a letter informing them that Democrats will be personally monitoring each of them to find out whether or not they voted, the New York Post reported Thursday evening.
The letter suggests those who don’t vote will be contacted to by the party to “hear why not.”
“Who you vote for is your secret. But whether or not you vote is public records. Many organisations monitor turnout in your neighbourhood,” the letter reads. “We will be reviewing the … official voting records after the upcoming election to determine whether you joined your neighbours who voted in 2014. If you do not vote this year, we will be interested to hear why not.”
The Post’s headline: “Democrats: Vote or we’ll kick your arse.”
At least some voters said they found the pressure menacing:
Peter Kauffmann, a spokesman for the state party, told Capital New York that the letter is “standard practice throughout the country.”
“This flyer is part of the nationwide Democratic response to traditional Republican voter suppression efforts — because Democrats believe our democracy works better when more people vote, not less,” Kauffman said.
Indeed, as Talking Points Memo documented, there have been similar letters sent out to motivate voters in other states. Some studies have found reminding voters their voting records are public is effective in mobilizing turnout.
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