State elections officials have received more than 200 complaints about a national Democrat-leaning group’s voter registration effort that included mailings to dead people and other ineligible voters.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler protested the mailouts in a letter to the Voter Participation Center, of Washington, D.C., telling executives the group’s lack of “proper due diligence” in obtaining mailing lists “opens up the door to voter fraud.”
“VPC must take responsibility for their actions. Not only should VPC be concerned about registering people to vote, but the organization must be concerned with and take appropriate actions to maintain integrity in our election process. The actions of VPC show little respect for it or the people of Louisiana,” Schedler wrote.
VPC officials have said the group has distributed some 5 million registration forms in various states in recent weeks. Similar problems have surfaced in them as well. VPC, a nonprofit organization, targets Democrat-leaning voting blocs, such as unmarried women, black people, Latinos and young adults.
In incidents in other states, VPC has acknowledged that the databases it uses are imperfect because they are developed from commercially collected information. If the mailing is incorrect, VPC has said the recipient should just throw the voter application away.
“They are mailing out prefilled-out voter registration applications. We are getting complaints they are going to felons, underage children, people who have been dead since the 1960s and 1970s,” First Assistant Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said Tuesday.
“We have to depend on the public’s honesty and the registrars of voters catching it when applications are submitted. We are doing everything we can to see that false registrations don’t occur,” Ardoin said.
Elections Commissioner Angie Rogers said the office started receiving complaints in June after a statewide mailout. “They were every day,” Rogers said. She said there was no specific area of the state where more problems occurred than any other.
“They are questioning why did y’all send me this? Why is this in my daughter’s name? She is 2 years old. Why did my husband, who died 30 years, ago get this?” Rogers said.
Rogers said VPC has a right to do a voter registration drive. “If they are interested in registering voters, they should have an interest in the information being correct,” she said.
In the letter to Voter Participation Center officials, Schedler said his office has logged more than 217 telephone and 16 email complaints.
“We do not believe that VPC could have performed proper due diligence in purchasing the list used for the mailing. If the mailing had included current information, we would not have had the numerous complaints that were filed with our office,” Schedler wrote.
“The VPC website professes that your organization relies upon ‘the diligence of local election officials to review the applications if and when they are turned in’ and that VPC ‘relies upon the integrity of the individuals receiving the forms.’ What diligence, if any, did VPC perform in making sure that the mailing list purchased was accurate and did not contain dead people, minors, felons, non-citizens and-or duplications,” Schedler wrote.