Officials warn voters about absentee ballot mailers after concern over incorrect information

Officials warn voters about absentee ballot mailers after concern over incorrect information

State elections officials are warning voters to check an absentee ballot application that was sent by a third-party group this week because it may have inaccurate information.

A voter from Oregon contacted News 3 to say that information she received in a mailer sent by The Center for Voter Information included her incorrect name and, while she lives in Oregon, directed her to send her ballot application to the village of Prairie Du Sac.

Looking into these forms that were sent out to voters this week from the Center for Voter Information– this one had the wrong middle names–and check out the city/village… Oregon voters wouldn’t sent a request to Prairie du Sac. #news3

— Jessica Arp (@news3jessica) October 3, 2018

Nancy Warner said she got the mailing Tuesday and immediately checked out the contents of the letter, which was from a group she hadn’t heard of. The letter was addressed to her but used two incorrect middle names.

Warner said she has lived and voted in Oregon for many years, but the information already filled out on her ballot application and on the prepaid return envelope said she would vote in the Village of Prairie Du Sac.

Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Elections Commission, said he was aware of the mailer, because a voter from Kenosha County had sent it to the commission this week.

He said the absentee ballot application is a correct form and will work if information on the form is correct and is sent to the right municipal clerk.

But he said the inaccurate information is concerning.

“Voters should generally not trust third-party information and forms they get about voting, whether voter registration applications or absentee ballot request forms in the mail,” Magney told News 3. “Your best source for that is your municipal clerk or the MyVote website.”

The mailer is being sent from the Center for Voter Information , which says online it is a nonpartisan organization working to encourage people to vote.

Lionel Dripps, Program Director for the Center for Voter Information confirms that the organization recently mailed 270,000 absentee ballot applications.

“In Wisconsin, about 27 percent of all eligible African Americans, Latinos, young people and unmarried women are not expected to vote in the midterms,” Dripps said in an emailed statement. “We hope that our Vote by Mail applications will encourage as many Wisconsin residents as possible to vote in the crucial November elections.”

When asked about the inaccuracies in voter information, the group said in a statement that they go to “great lengths to provide accurate information and addresses on all mail pieces.”

Reports from Minnesota , Iowa , North Carolina and Kansas indicate voters in other states are also receiving mailings from the group.