JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan is warning about potentially confusing mailings that Jacksonville residents could receive in the weeks leading up to elections, set for later this year.
Elections officials said the mail-outs look official and include Florida voter registration applications with information prefilled and are sometimes addressed to informal names, children under voting age, dead family members and even pets.
The letters originate from the Voter Participation Center and the Center for Voter Information, two organizations not associated with the Florida Division of Elections or the Duval County supervisor of elections, according to Hogan.
Page Gardner, president and founder of the Voter Participation Center, responded Friday to Hogan's notice, saying it was misleading of his office to cast doubt on the mailers' legitimacy.
"The VPC mailers are very clear in terms of their purpose and source, and provide citizens a chance to check their registration status. VPC's lists are up-to-date and come from a variety of sources including the Florida voter file. There are more than three million eligible, unregistered people in the state of Florida. There needs to be a sustained effort to make sure every citizen has the ability to register and the ability to vote. The Voter Participation Center works to make that happen," Gardner's statement reads in part.
Voter Participation Center is a nonpartisan, nonprofit civic engagement organization. According to VPC, the organization recently sent valid registration forms to 381,000 people in Florida, and it has registered more than 462,000 people in the state since 2004.
Local election officials said Duval County voters who know they are registered are urged to confirm their voter record by using the “Voter Status” link on the Supervisor of Elections website, at www.duvalelections.com, or call the Supervisor of Elections office instead of relying on information printed on these mailed-out applications.
The Supervisor of Elections said those who want to register to vote online, a new Florida Division of Elections portal is available at www.registertovoteflorida.gov.
Otherwise, applicants may access Florida Voter Registration Application forms at either Supervisor of Elections office at 105 East Monroe Street or at your local Tax Collector’s office or Public Library.