Some voters in New Hampshire opened their mailboxes today to find an envelope stamped in red with “important taxpayer information enclosed.” Inside was a letter featuring an official-looking seal that listed not only the recipients’ voting records, but those of their neighbors.
“WHAT IF YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR NEIGHBORS, AND YOUR COMMUNITY KNEW WHETHER YOU VOTED?” the mailer asked. “We’re sending this mailing to you, some of your friends, neighbors, colleagues at work and community members to make them aware of who does and does not vote.”
The mailer listed the recipient’s name, his or her record of voting in the last few elections, and the names, addresses, and voting records of nine neighbors. Mother Jones was shown two copies of the mailer, one sent to a registered independent voter in Manchester and the other to a registered Democrat; complaints about this mailer began popping up on the internet this afternoon.
The mailer is very similar to one circulated by Ted Cruz’s campaign to undecided Iowa voters just days before the caucuses. Cruz’s controversial mailer warned of “voting violations” and listed what it said was the voting records of the recipient and his or her neighbors, although the voting data appeared to be incorrect if not made up entirely. (At least one of the New Hampshire mailers featured false voting-record data, according to the recipient.)
Unlike the Iowa mailer, which prominently listed the Cruz campaign as its source, there is no indication who sent the New Hampshire letter. In small print at the bottom of the letter a disclaimer notes that it is “Paid for by Public Policy Matters,” a group that has no obvious web presence. If the New Hampshire mailers are not from Cruz, it’s possible that someone wants to remind New Hampshire’s coveted independent voters of Cruz’s Iowa stunt.
Update: Ted Cruz’s spokesman, Rick Tyler, told Mother Jones that the Cruz campaign did not send the mailers. “All of our mail has a Paid for by Cruz for President disclaimer. Not ours,” Tyler emailed.