Valley residents question voter turnout 'report card' being sent by Arizona GOP

Posted at 6:24 PM, Oct 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-28 22:26:59-04

Ten-thousand or more “voter report cards” flyers have been sent out across Arizona recently.

The Arizona GOP is hoping more people in low voter turnout areas will participate on Nov. 8 by publishing the public information of individual voters.

"It's not really about politics and it's not really about parties, it's about participation,” Arizona Republican Party Communication Director Tim Seifert said.

The report grades each person from A to F, based on the percentage of elections in which they’ve participated. But it also shows grades for nearby neighbors with the message, “Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ is public record: just like you can see their voting history, they can see yours.”

It’s angered some Valley residents, like Joetta Halford. She said that she was confused when she first received the flyer.

"I looked at the stamp and it says freedom, liberty, equality and justice. I flipped it over and I couldn't believe what was on the other side,” Halford said.

Halford said it’s unfair to pressure people into voting and then compare them to their neighbors. But the GOP defends the flyer by saying that the tactic has worked in the past.

"Pressure is a good thing. We also call it encouragement for people to get their ballots and vote,” Seifert said.

The Arizona Democratic Party also sends out flyers to individuals using their voting history, which is public information.

Enrique Gutierrez, the communication director for the Arizona Democratic Party, released the following statement to ABC15:

"Our mailers reflect our push to promote early vote and serve as a reminder for our supporters. We provide them with actual useful information on how they can vote early, either by mail or in person. Overall, we want to encourage our voters to vote. Sometimes social pressure work, but we also know when things go too far, and that AZGOP mailer goes too far."

Seifert admits that many people have called in with their own reactions after receiving the flyer. Some have asked how they can improve the grade. Seifert says the only way is to vote.