Democrats: Vote or we’ll kick your ass | New York Post - Liar Liar!
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Democrats: Vote or we’ll kick your ass | New York Post

Democrats are telling voters that they had better head to the polls — or else.

The New York State Democratic Committee is bullying people into voting next week with intimidating letters warning that it can easily find out which slackers fail to cast a ballot next Tuesday.

“Who you vote for is your secret. But whether or not you vote is public record,” the letter says.

“We will be reviewing voting records . . . to determine whether you joined your neighbors who voted in 2014.”

It ends with a line better suited to a mob movie than a major political party: “If you do not vote this year, we will be interested to hear why not.”

The letter and accompanying post card was criticized even by party members, with one Democratic consultant saying it was the wrong way to inspire votes.

“It’s a threatening letter. It’s a scare piece that is unnecessary and inappropriate,” the insider said.

Brooklyn and Manhattan residents who received the note Wednesday were furious, calling it an attempt to browbeat them into showing up at the polls.

“I’m outraged. Whether I vote or not is none of your business!” said a Manhattan voter, who was so incensed that she complained to a local Democratic leader.

“The letter is ludicrous and menacing,” said the voter, who requested anonymity.

The woman also received a report card of her voting record, pointing out that she had failed to vote in two of the last four elections.

Overall, the notices were sent out to 1 million registered Democrats who had failed to vote in previous midterm elections, according to the group.

The committee — chaired by former Gov. David Paterson — defended the scare tactic, calling it standard practice throughout the country.

“This flier 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,” said Peter Kauffmann, a committee spokesman.

“The difference between Democrats and Republicans is they don’t want people to vote and we want everyone to vote.”

Paterson declined to comment.

The mailer has a phone number on it that goes to Election Protection, a nonpartisan voting organization.

The organization said it had received a “significant” number of calls about the letter.

Such attempts to shame people to vote — what politicos call “social pressure” or peer pressure — has become more common place and was used by the Obama campaign in 2012, sources said.

A Yale University study in 2008 found that voter participation increased substantially after lazy voters received letters telling them their spotty voting history was a public record that would be scrutinized.

The notice includes a “vote report card” rating New Yorkers’ voting records as “excellent,” “good,” “fair” or “incomplete.”

“Many organizations monitor turnout in your neighborhood and are disappointed by the inconsistent voting of many of your neighbors,” it says.

The letter came a week before heavily favored Democratic Gov. Cuomo faces off against Republican Rob Astorino.

Cuomo was not behind the shame letters, party sources insisted.

But Astorino scoffed, “Andrew Cuomo’s thuggish tactics just crossed the line into creepy territory . . . Threatening and intimidating people is not how honorable elected leaders operate.”

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