When Anthony Tennent took the flyer out of his Albuquerque, New Mexico mailbox, he knew he had to tell somebody.
“I’m not that big into social media. I don't usually take the time to share that kind of thing,” he told The Daily Beast. “It really bothered me.”
The mailer shows a woman in a cold blue hue peeking through her blinds. “When the Democrats win the election and you didn’t do your part… your neighbors will know,” it reads, in all caps.
The back shows a map of houses, some tagged with red check marks in blue pinpoints.
“Do your part in this election,” it says. “After all, voting is a matter of public record.”
The flyer says it was mailed by the Republican Party of New Mexico. A spokesperson for the party, W. Tucker Keene, told The Daily Beast the party had, in fact, mailed the card. He said he was in a meeting and hung up when asked more about the flyer.
Tennent immediately posted the flyer on his Facebook page right before throwing it away. His friend Jake Moffitt then shared the mailer to a political Facebook group, where it received condemnation—and more attention.
“It sounded pretty damn sinister, honestly. He said there was a map on it with a bunch of question marks around local houses,” he said. “I'm glad it's getting some attention because holy shit.”
From there, the post quickly found its way to Reddit, under the title “The Republican Party is resorting to voter intimidation to keep people from voting Democrat.”
That would appear to be criminal. “Whoever… attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose… shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both,” federal law states.
The mailer is similar to a piece of Ted Cruz campaign literature sent to Iowans in January about a “voting violation” that’s a “matter of official public record” ahead of the state’s caucus.
The top of the Republican ticket is employing a similar strategy—only in person. On Monday, Donald Trump once again told a Pennsylvania crowd that the election could be “stolen from us” due to voter fraud. He has attempted to enlist a team of “election observers” to linger outside of polling stations on election day and, as his website states, “Help Me Stop Crooked Hillary From Rigging This Election!”
As for Tennent, he said the attempt by Trump’s party to suppress his vote has backfired.
“I wouldn't vote Republican after seeing that mailer, [including] all of the Republican candidates who will be up for election—state reps and the like.”