Letter encourages veteran to register to vote, but he's been dead for 6 years

Be Registered among many groups sending out this type of mail, SOE says

By Jenese Harris - Reporter/anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - An organization called Be Registered is sending out letters encouraging people to register to vote, but one of the recipients is a deceased Vietnam veteran, his widow said Monday.

How can that be? Is the group affiliated with the state? Is it a scam?

Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan said first of all, the letter is not an official document from the state.

When asked about what her first thought was, upon seeing the mail addressed to her husband, the widow of C. Mitchell said, “That someone messed up really bad, because he had been gone for some years.”

Her husband died six years ago.

Hogan said Be Registered isn’t the only group sending around letters such as this. Many organizations do the exact same thing, he said.

“I would call them organizations that may be attached to a particular party, so they are trying to boost registration,” Hogan said.

Anyone who receives such a letter, or who wonders about his or her voter status, is encouraged to take the following steps:

  • Go to www.duvalelections.com.
  • Click on “My Voter Status.”
  • Answer three questions and the site will tell you your status and precinct.

The Vietnam veteran’s widow said she is throwing out the letter and hopes to be reminded of her husband only through beautiful memories and photos.

The mailings can look official, but the pamphlets are not. The supervisor of elections has complained to the state about such mailers, with no success. 

It appears the groups are gaining access to people’s addresses through a public records request, which is legal.

The Florida Department of State spokesperson told News4Jax on Tuesday that they do not work with third-party voter registration groups to send mailers and they do not send out mailers on our own. 

"It is common for third-party voter registration groups to send mailers encouraging voter registration, especially during an election cycle, and we are aware that these types of activities are on-going," the spokesperson wrote in an email.

Click here to search a database of registered third-party voter registration groups.

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