Confusion, cats: AFP voter mailing contains wrong information

Posted September 26, 2014

— Hundreds of thousands of voter registration forms with incorrect information were mailed out across North Carolina this month, but the forms didn't come from elections officials – they came from Americans for Prosperity Foundation, a conservative nonprofit affiliated with the Koch brothers.

Some of the forms were addressed to dead people, while others went to children and even family pets. The mailing tells people to send the form to the wrong agency, and it gives two different deadlines to register to vote.

Confused voters are swamping the phone lines at the State Board of Elections trying to figure out what's going on, spokesman Josh Lawson said. Some callers are afraid their registration has been canceled, he said, while others say forms are being sent to people who have passed away or cannot vote.

"These are in fact mailers from AFP – Americans for Prosperity – containing a lot of information that we're having to do our best to correct," Lawson said. "We've had some really outrageous stories. Some folks have said that their cat got a form."

The mailers have already spawned a new Internet meme: votingcats.com. 

Some Democrats have suggested AFP is trying to mislead voters or cause voter fraud, but AFP state director Donald Bryson said that's not the case, noting any widespread mailing will have some errors.

"We just apologize for any confusion that caused, and we apologize for some errors that we had in the list that went out," Bryson said. "We're trying to get those corrected."

He couldn't say where the mailing list came from, only that it is a national effort. The aim was to increase voter registration, he said, adding that it's working. He said the project "worked exactly as intended."

"This was simply an educational effort to get more people engaged in the civic process," he said.

Elections spokesman Lawson said the errors don't appear to be intentional or criminal, but state officials will look into it further.

"Our concern is that, for every one caller, you actually have 10 people that may be just as confused and just not picking up the phone to call us. So, we're trying to get the message out," he said.

Anyone who is already registered to vote should just throw the form away, he said. People can go online to check if their registration is current. The registration deadline is Oct. 10.

For people who have already sent in the form, he said it would eventually make it the local elections board. But don't try to register a cat to vote – under state law, that's a felony.


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  • liskm Oct 1, 2014

    Think my cats act more intelligent than some posters on here and some candidates, so they'd welcome a ballot, lol! Of course we'd have to go thru' an official paw print ID 1st...snicker!

  • Kenny Dunn Oct 1, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Or it's a violation of the law that should be prosecuted.

  • lprop Oct 1, 2014

    Everything is becoming so diluted in this country. How do you justify a mistake like this from highly paid professionals. The lack of respect in this country has diminished greatly from the hap hazard salute of the president down to the loud music in the streets , sagging clothes and most recently the security of the White House. If people don't relearn how to show a little respect for one another nothing will change but only get worse.

  • 1983rs Sep 30, 2014

    AFP should be forced to mail out correct info , they should also be compelled to run TV spots stating their "mistake" and give the correct info.. devious yes, incompetent no.

  • Tammy Rush Sep 30, 2014
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    If any taxpayer dollars are spent cleaning up this mess, AFP should have to reimburse the amount.

  • Atheistinafoxhole Sep 30, 2014

    View quoted thread

    The truth is like sunlight, and those that dwell in the darkness of obfuscation and misinformation fear the light and its natural disinfectant properties.

    Apparently reality has a well known liberal bias.

  • redapace Sep 30, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Where ARE they? This is a case where even the right knows they're wrong. Has Rusk/Fox not given them ANY talking point excuses?

  • Jack Jones Sep 30, 2014
    user avatar

    Suspiciously quiet from the "pro-ALEC" & "pro-ignorance" posting crowd.

  • tmstubbs63 Sep 29, 2014

    And everything Kay Hagan says is complete lie....

  • KnowsItAll Sep 29, 2014

    the Republicans cannot win an honest election.