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Democrats Put Off By Letter To Voters Saying, 'Whether You Vote Is Public Record'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Midterm elections have lower voter turnout, so both parties have been pulling out all the stops to get people to the polls.

But as CBS2's Matt Kozar reported Thursday night, one mailing sent by the New York State Democratic Committee has been raising eyebrows and angering likely voters.

Joseph Frewer, 26, got one.

"It feels like you're being bullied into voting," he said.

The letter starts out: "Who you vote for is your secret. But whether or not you vote is public record." It continues: "If you do not vote this year, we will be interested to hear why not."

"I'm already going to vote Democratic, most likely," Frewer said. "This just feels like you're bossing me around. It makes me less likely to want to."

Reaction to the flier on Twitter has been mixed.

"I won't vote this year because I got one of these," one man wrote.

But another said, "This is pretty tame 'social pressure.'"

David Birdsell, dean of the Baruch College School of Public Affairs, said both parties want to increase voter turnout. The question is how to do it effectively.

"Usually, it's frightening people about the prospect of a victory for the other party if you don't get out there," Birdsell said. "It's very unusual to threaten people with surveillance and following."

When CBS2 asked about the mailing, a representative of the New York State Democratic Committee sent a statement.

"This flyer is part of the nationwide Democratic response to traditional Republican voter suppression efforts, because Democrats believe our democracy works better when more people vote, not less," the statement said.

And while Frewer said he will still vote blue on Tuesday despite being turned off by the flier, he is worried that undecided Democrats who received the letter will not.

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