State party groups reach out to voters through mail before Election Day

10/31/2014 04:15 PM

UPDATED WITH LETTER TO ATTORNEY GENERAL: The Republican and Democratic parties in the state are targeting voters before Election Day through letters addressed to voters to give them information before they head to their polling place Tuesday.

The Republican Party of Kentucky has sent out a piece of mail that says in big bold capitalized text on the front of the letter “Election Violation Notice.” It then says “the information enclosed contains facts related to a possible fraud perpetrated on citizens across Kentucky” followed by language that says the mailer is only to be read by the citizen named.

The mailer contains claims Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes made in a TV ad that have been rated false by the Washington Post on multiple occasions.

The RPK lists citations of the “four Pinocchio’s” given to Grimes for the ad by the newspaper. At the bottom, it says the mailer was paid for by the Republican Party of Kentucky.

One of those citizens who received the letter posted images of the mailer to Facebook writing in a status update that the Republicans are trying to deceive voters with the piece. Two images from the Facebook post can be seen below:

The way the mailer is designed drew criticism from the Democratic Party of Kentucky as they referred to the approach as “voter suppression tactics.”

“After trying for 16 months to buy this election, Mitch McConnell and the out-of-state special interests that support him are now trying to steal Kentucky’s Senate seat using questionable and possibly illegal voter suppression tactics. The despicable mailers targeting Kentucky voters with misleading information are just another sign of Mitch McConnell’s desperation as Kentuckians hold him accountable for his 30-year failed record in Washington,” Kentucky Democratic Party Chair Dan Logsdon said in a statement.

The tactic also caught the eye of Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, who received the mailer himself and sent a letter to Attorney General Jack Conway about it saying it violates state and federal law and calls on Conway to “exercise your powers of investigation and prosecution by immediately convening a grand jury to investigate these wrongful actions.”

Stumbo’s full letter and copy of the mailer can be seen here: SpeakerStumboLetterMailer.pdf

However, Republican Party of Kentucky Chair Steve Robertson told Pure Politics the mailer contains no false information and does not try to suppress voter turnout in any way.

“But I would point out that the Kentucky Democratic Party is the entity that has put the social security number of a candidate on a piece of mail and is being investigated,” Robertson said, referring to a mailer by the KDP going after 23rd House district candidate Jeff Jobe for a DUI by publishing the Jobe’s personal information including his social security number and address.

Another piece of mail some voters will see in their mailboxes is a letter from Governor Steve Beshear. The mailer, paid for by the Kentucky State Democratic Central Executive Committee, contains the letter where Beshear reminds the voter of the Nov. 4 date of the election and encourages them to go to the polls.

“I hope you will cast your ballot for Alison Lundergan Grimes and other Democrats on the ballot, we need leadership in both Washington and Kentucky that fight for hard-working Americans struggling to get ahead, not just those at the top,” Beshear writes in the letter.

The governor finishes the letter by recommending a website for voters to look up their polling place before Tuesday and then says “I know I can count on you.”

RPK chair Robertson said their tactics of recruiting the governor will not work on voters.

“Each election cycle, the governor tires to transfer his popularity to other candidates but in 110 percent of these instances, that fails,” Robertson said.

A copy of the full Beshear letter can be seen below:

About Pure Politics

Pure Politics airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET and again at 11:30 p.m. ET in all of cn|2's Kentucky markets. The program features political analysis and news, as well as interviews with officials, candidates, policy makers and political observers.


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