By Kim Palmer
CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Groups looking to increase turnout in Tuesday's U.S. elections are using mass mailings that show whether the recipient voted in recent elections and compares the voting record to their neighbors, hoping peer pressure will get people to the polls.
The mailings from Americans for Limited Government and MoveOn.org, groups on the right and left respectively, have been sent to millions of registered voters across the United States using public voting records, a move that has surprised some people.
"I've been told it is legal," said Claire Fricke, a Cincinnati, Ohio, resident who received a mailing from Americans for Limited Government, as did her husband. "I guess I just don't know what it is about. I don't understand the purpose for it."
Fricke, 79, said she is a registered independent and the mailing disclosed whether she voted in the two most recent presidential elections and the voting records of four of her neighbors.
Fricke said the mailing incorrectly said she did not vote in 2008, though it correctly listed her husband's voting record. A son living in Indiana received a similar mailing, she said.
Americans for Limited Government sent mailings to 2.75 million people in 19 states "to increase participation in the electoral process," communications director Rich Manning said.
Manning said the group had not received negative feedback from recipients. He did not say how people were chosen.
"We unapologetically urge these voters to exercise their right to vote, a goal which we are confident everyone applauds," Manning said. Continued...