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#ProtectYourVote: conservative group exposing your voting history to your neighbors - legally

5:55 PM, Oct 31, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, FL- A new political mailer is raising eyebrows - not for the mud it slings, but for the dirty laundry it airs to your neighbors.

A group called Americans for Limited Government has begun sending "Vote History Audits" to select voters across Florida and several other states. The document cites public record and identifies whether you - and your neighbors - voted in the 2004 and 2008 general elections.

#ProtectYourVote: 10 News will investigate your voting concerns

"Every election we see something different," said Sarasota Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent.  "(But) I've never seen (a mailer) quite like this."

The letter introduces a dose of peer pressure to the political process, promising to "send an updated vote history audit to you and your neighbors" after Election Day, Tue, Nov. 6.

"There's nothing illegal that I can see," Dent said after inspecting a letter a Sarasota resident received.  "Voter history is public record; how you voted is not public record, we don't know how anyone votes."

Americans for Limited Government, which states on its website its goals are "identifying, exposing and working with Congress and state legislatures to prevent the continued expansion of government," indicates its mailer is to promote "democracy" and "civic participation."

But it's not clear if the mailers went to just one party - or even if the voter histories are accurate.  Both calls and e-mails to Americans for Limited Government went unreturned.

"There really shouldn't be concern," Dent said.  "Anyone can come in and find out whether you voted in 2000, 2008, 2012."

10 News regularly uses voting records in reporting as well, including recent stories on how few Occupy Tampa protesters had voted and which state legislators skipped voting in the primary.

Previous #ProtectYourVote coverage:
10/30/12 -
Some voters didn't know their precinct changed
10/29/12 - Voting problems? 10 News will investigate
10/26/12 - Are 11 ballot amendments intentionally confusing?
10/24/12 - FBI investigating phony letters to Fla. Republicans
10/23/12 - Fla. Division of Elections warns about phony letters
10/11/12 - Obama campaign illicitly in Pasco schools?
10/3/12 - RPOF vendor investigated for fake registrations
10/2/12 - Supervisor warns of misleading robocalls
4/23/11 - Critics claim new voting bill will suppress voters

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