Voter-registration forms being mailed to Virginia residents are addressed to dead relatives, children, family members in other states, non-U.S. citizens, people with similar names, existing registered voters and residents' cats and dogs.
The errant forms are among tens of thousands being distributed in Virginia by a national voter-registration group that pre-populates the documents with key information, including names and addresses of prospective voters.
The mailings have become a source of confusion among many who receive them and are creating headaches for local registrar offices, which must spend time in a busy presidential election year investigating which of the forms are legitimate.
The mailings also can create opportunities for voter fraud, election officials say.
Although some of the mailings have gone to Virginia residents who are already registered — causing confusion about their voting eligibility — state election officials are more concerned about ineligible people receiving the forms, such as felons, non-citizens and "non-humans," said Justin Riemer, the state Board of Elections' deputy secretary.
Riemer provided these examples:
An application was sent to an 8-month-old child several months after the infant died.
A mother received an application for a daughter who has never lived in Virginia.
A wife received an application for her dead husband.
A non-citizen received an application.
A resident received an application for his mother, who died in 1988 and never lived at the Virginia address where the mailing was sent.
State election officials aren't sure how many of the 5 million registration forms distributed across the country by the Voter Participation Center have made it to Virginia.
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