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Warning

Dear Editor:

A recent article in the Washington Post (7/25/2012) titled “In Va., dogs and the dead are invited to vote” started off with “A group that tries to get ‘historically underrepresented groups’ to the polls has targeted some particularly unlikely voters: dogs and dead Virginians. The Voter Participation Center, a Washington-based non-profit, also sent voter registration forms to scores of non-citizens, children and other Virginians ineligible to vote, according to the Virginia State Board of Elections, which has received more than 100 complaints.”

 A similar article ran in the Seattle Times on July 13, 2012, starting off with “OLYMPIA — The voter-registration form arrived in the mail last month with key information filled in: Rosie Charlston’s name was complete, as was her Seattle address. The problem: Rosie was a black lab who died in 1998. A group called the Voter Participation Center has touted the distribution of some 5 million registration forms in recent weeks, targeting … voting blocs such as unmarried women, blacks, Latinos and young adults. But residents and election administrators across the country also have reported a series of bizarre and questionable mailings addressed to animals, dead people, non-citizens and people already registered to vote.”

The Voter Participation Center is a group which sends out pre-populated voter registration forms, which is legal to do in Colorado, if the recipient is a real person. The problem is that the Voter Participation Center has not been as accurate as they should be in who receives the registration forms. The mailings appear official, arriving in privacy envelopes with the headline “VOTER REGISTRATION DOCUMENTS ENCLOSED.” Some information is completed, and recipients also receive an envelope to send completed forms to local elections officials.

There are multiple voter registration operations going on here in Archuleta County. It is easy to register at the County Clerk’s office downtown. If you have a Colorado driver’s license, you can go to www.govotecolorado.com and, using your driver’s license, you can complete your registration online on the Secretary of State’s very easy to use Voter Registration website. You can register at the Archuleta Democrat HQ downtown at 527 Pagosa Street, Suite A.  Or, if you shop at City Market, you can walk across the parking lot to the Archuleta County GOP office where there is a banner that says “Register to Vote Here” and we will help you do that, either online if you have a Colorado driver’s license/ID or we can help you fill out the form that you can take down to the County Clerk’s office.

 If you, or someone you know, gets a voter registration form from the Voter Participation Center that is sent to someone who should not vote (deceased, a pet, a child, someone who is not a citizen, etc.) please get a copy of it to the county clerk’s office.  My information is that the Voter Participation Center just sent out a large number of forms to Colorado residents last week. I have already heard of some bogus forms being received by residents in Denver. So, a voter registration form in your name, or in your underage daughter’s or your dog’s name, may already be in the mail from these folks.

 Jim Huffman

This story was posted on September 13, 2012.