By Bernie Becker and Russell Berman - 11/01/12 09:11 PM EDT
A group called Americans for Limited Government is sending letters to people encouraging them to vote by showing them the voting history of their neighbors.
The letter, which people have reported receiving in at least six competitive states, is presented in the form of a “vote history audit.”
It displays a chart showing whether the recipient and a handful of his or her neighbors cast ballots in 2004 and 2008. For 2012, the vote is listed as “pending.”
The letter concludes by saying the group will “send an updated vote history audit to you and your neighbors with the results.”
The Americans for Limited Government website describes itself as “leaders in identifying, exposing and working with Congress and state legislatures to prevent the continued expansion of government.”
While it describes itself as nonpartisan, the website contains missives highly critical of President Obama and his policies on healthcare, spending and welfare.
The group did not return emails, and calls to ALG did not go through because the organization's phone system was down.
But ALG did tell a Colorado television station that its goal was to encourage voters to get to the polls, and stressed that the information in its mailer was all part of the public record.
“We firmly believe that people who sit on the sidelines and do not engage in selecting our leaders are abandoning not just their right to a say, but are diminishing everyone's rights," the group said.
According to media reports, the audits were also sent to voters in Florida, Indiana, Missouri and North Carolina.
Voters have not had a positive response to the mailers, those reports found. The Orlando Sentinel quoted voters calling the outreach an "offensive invasion of privacy" and "absolutely despicable."