IOWA - Iowa’s secretary of state blasted Ted Cruz on Saturday for sending a highly controversial mailer that misrepresented state election law. Iowa voters flooded Twitter questioning the authenticity and ethics of the Cruz letters that included a warning of a “voting violation” in capital letters.
The mailed informed voters they were receiving a notice “because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record,” the flier read.
“Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well. CAUCUS ON MONDAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses.” Below the text was a list of names, letter grades and percentage scores.
Iowa's secretary of state, Paul D. Pate, called the letters “misleading." and according to the New York Times said: “Accusing citizens of Iowa of a ‘voting violation’ based on Iowa caucus participation, or lack thereof, is false representation of an official act. There is no such thing as an election violation related to frequency of voting. Any insinuation or statement to the contrary is wrong and I believe it is not in keeping in the spirit of the Iowa caucuses.”
Mr. Pate added that his office never “grades” voters, nor does it maintain records of caucus participation. He said that the office also did not “distribute” voter records, but they were available “for purchase for political purposes only, under Iowa Code.”
The Cruz campaign confirmed the mailers had originated from the campaign and maintained there was nothing inappropriate about the materials. The Ted Cruz campaign added “These mailers are common practice to increase voter turnout.