There’s some serious backlash coming from Arizona voters about a new election mailer.
The so-called “voter report card” shows whether recipients and their neighbors have voted in the last few elections, warning a follow-up may be issued after the Nov. 8 presidential election. More than 10,000 fliers were sent out by the Arizona Republican Party.
Joetta Halford is a Phoenix grandmother and registered Republican who votes in every election.
But now, she’s thinking about switching political parties after receiving the mailer.
“It was disbelief that someone could do that,” Halford said. “To put out information that people consider private is wrong. That’s communism. That’s big brother watching you.”
Tim Sifert, with the Arizona’s Republican Party, said they’ve received a number of complaints about the mailers.
However, Sifert insisted they are simply a way to get voters’ attention and encourage more people to turn out to the polls.
“It’s encouragement for voter turnout,” Sifert said. “All we’re trying to do is make sure voters understand it is important to vote, and the report card indicates that.”
The Arizona Democratic Party has also sent out a similar flyer, comparing neighbors’ voting records, but its flyer doesn’t list anyone by name.
Political consultant Stan Barnes said even though the tactic may upset some voters, using peer pressure to get people to the polls can be very effective.
“Learning that your neighbor turns out and votes all the time, and realizing that you didn’t, it might have the impact the parties are hoping for,” Barnes said. “It draws that voter out and guilts you into doing your civic duty.”
A spokesperson for Arizona’s Secretary of State’s office said that it’s public record whether someone voted in an election, but no one can look up who they voted for.