Voters Warned About Misleading Voter Registration Forms
The Pasco Supervisor of Elections is warning voters about misleading voter registration forms from the Washington D.C. based Voter Participation Center (VPC).
VPC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that works to register minority voters.
Brian Corley said he’s received calls from angry and confused voters concerning the pre-filled forms that sometimes have outdated or inaccurate information. He said voters mistakenly believe that the mailings are coming from their local supervisor of elections office.
"The majority of the phone calls we are receiving are from already registered voters who are questioning what has happened to their voter registration," he said. "This is very confusing to them, and rightly so. It is creating suspicion, mistrust, and increased anger which further erodes the confidence of voters and unnecessarily places a burden on the elections office staff which is actively preparing for upcoming elections."
Corley blames the use of commercial data lists by the VPC for their inaccuracy.
“What that’s yielding, best case scenario, is voters receiving pre-filled registration forms and they’re already registered,” he said. “The worst case scenario is it’s going to people who are deceased, minor children, even pets.”
VPC president Page Gardner said not only do they receive a small number of complaints, but they also have received more than 55,000 returned mailers from Florida residents.
“When you look at the number of people we mail and reach out to register, within that context, the number of complaints is actually very, very small,” she said.
This year, they’ve mailed more than 1.3 million forms to Florida residents. Since 2006, VPC has registered nearly 293,000 people in the state.
Corley said that since 2008, he’s dealt with complaints from voters every election cycle. He said up to 20 other counties in Florida have experienced the same issue.
“Each time we implore to please improve their accuracy and it has yet to happen,” he said.
The mailer explicitly states that if a resident has questions, to either contact their local supervisor of elections or visit http://registration.elections.myflorida.com.
“Any problem we have is a problem we don’t want to have," Gardner said. "That’s why we provide people with our phone number and our website (for) a way to unsubscribe to our list so we provide lots and lots of ways to get in touch with us and let us know that they would like to be removed from the list or they think there’s some inaccuracy that we have done,” Gardner said.
Corley said voters can check their voter registration status at www.pascovotes.com or call their office at 800-851-8754. He said presence of VPC can create a state of chaos.
“It’s frustrating on behalf of the voters; it’s unnecessary,” he said. “At a time where we want voters to have confidence in the system, it just creates chaos and that’s the last thing we want.”