Monterey County

Letter causes concern over voter registration

Over 4 million California votes told - incorrectly - they aren't registered to vote

SALINAS, Calif. - Central Coast election offices are getting calls from hundreds of voters who have been told incorrectly that they are not registered to vote in the November 8 election. Officials say the notifications are not official and are causing unnecessary concern and confusion.

According to the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO), letters were sent to more than 4.6 million California voters by the Voter Participation Center, a non-profit group whose published mission is to "register and mobilize" the electorate.

Some of the letters were addressed to current registered voters. Others were addressed to non-existent residents or to variations of names associated with a residence.

"It is clear that the organization that sent out these mailings used bad data at least in part, and failed to compare that data with the existing voter file," said Dean Logan, CACEO president.

Monterey County's registrar of voters Claudio Valenzuela said 40,600 letters were mailed to Monterey County voters. He said around 50 people have called the elections office.

Gail Pellerin, Santa Cruz County Clerk, said her office has received about 100 calls from voters who received the letter.

Valenzuela said the group may have had "good intentions but not the greatest of execution." He suggested that anyone who is concerned should call his office to verify their registration status. "It makes extra work for us but it's best to get information from a reliable source," he said.

County registrars will begin mailing sample ballots for the upcoming election next month. Any voter who receives a sample ballot is registered and listed on the active voter file. Only those voters who have changed address or their name need to re-register prior to the October 24, 2016 voter registration deadline.

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