I-Team: Nonprofit group behind official-looking mailer to register voters

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — With the election 43 days away, concerns and confusion about the election continue to mount. On top of in person voting and mail-in voting, now there are questions about mailers.

8NewsNow is working to provide you the most up-to-date information.

Some people may have received a mailer from the Voter Participation Center, or VPC.

It looks pretty official. Return address, Carson City, but this is not a governmental agency.

It’s a nonprofit trying to get more people registered to vote.

There is a voter registration form with a prepaid envelope.

We’ve confirmed this is addressed to Clark County Voter Registration.

A spokesman for VPC tells me 868,000 of these mailers are being sent in Nevada. They are geared toward people who are eligible to vote but are not registered. He says this mainly includes people of color, young people ages 18 to 34 and unmarried women.

The I-Team received an email from a concerned viewer:

“I am a registered voter in Clark County and even confirmed my party affiliation with them a couple of weeks ago. Received this in the mail … And people aren’t worried about voter fraud?”

The letter from the Voter Participation Center also states if you are already registered to vote or ineligible to vote, disregard it.

VPC’s website.

The VPC spokesman tells me if someone who is already registered to vote receives the mailer, VPC regrets that.

VPC hires companies that use commercial data and the system is not perfect.

OK, so what if someone tries to fill out the information? For example, to register a deceased person?

A Clark County spokesman says that’s a felony.

And there are systems in place to catch this. For example, they check with the Department of Motor Vehicles and Social Security, among others.

Use these links to confirm your voter registration or vote:

Procrastinators can also do it on Election Day, but as we’ve been reporting, this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, voters have the option to mail in their ballots.

Officials from the Voter Participation Center provided this statement:

The non-partisan and non-profit Voter Participation Center (VPC) and the Center for Voter Information (CVI) are mailing 868,000 voter-registration applications to people in Nevadain September. It’s part of the groups’ largest-ever campaign to register eligible citizens to vote, and to help already registered voters safely vote from home amid the pandemic.

“With COVID-19 impacting elections, we have a responsibility to do all we can to safely increase voter turnout and engagement during this uncertain time. It is vital to keep voters safe and to bring democracy to eligible voters’ doorsteps,” said Tom Lopach, the President and CEO of VPC and its partner group, CVI. “Mail-based voter registration and voting is reliable, safe and effective, and we are ensuring voters have the tools necessary to make their voices heard.”

More than 789,500 people who can vote in Nevada are not yet registered, according to the “Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2018” supplement to the U.S. Census, and 74% of them are members of the Rising American Electorate: young people, people of color and unmarried women. VPC and CVI primarily send mailings to members of the Rising American Electorate, many of whom have historically been under-represented in our democracy, often move between elections, and register and vote at lower rates than the rest of the population.

As millions of Americans self-isolate because of the coronavirus pandemic, mail-based voter efforts have never been more important. VPC and CVI run the nation’s largest mail-based and digital voter engagement programs, and their work is crucial today. 

VPC and CVI mail registration applications to unregistered individuals, along with pre-addressed envelopes to make it easy to send completed forms directly to local election officials. People who want to register online, have questions about the mailing, or who want to be excluded from future mailings can visit voterparticipation.org.

VPC and CVI provide samples of mailings ahead of time to top state election officials, to ensure the groups comply with all state laws. The organizations also provide in-depth information about their programs online.

Since 2003, VPC and CVI have helped register more than 5 million voters nationally, including 79,000 people who applied to register in Nevada. This month, the groups will be sending 65 million pieces of mail to voters and prospective voters in 27 states.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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