Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen says there’s no need to respond to a third-party mailing by a Washington D.C.-based political non-profit regarding mail-in ballot requests.
The Center for Voter Information has been sending personalized letters with a ballot application and postage-paid return envelope to voters across Nebraska, coinciding with the timing of official applications sent out by the Secretary of State’s office.
Officials in county election offices, as well as in Evnen’s office, have been fielding a number of calls and contacts about the mailer since last week.
Evnen tells KNEB News the situation points out one of the problems of early voting by mail, in which there are all sorts of points in the process that can be interfered with. “There are third-party groups, and this is one of them, and they make themselves look semi-official, and they ask for your personal information. Don’t give it to them, do not give it to them,” says Evnen. “Every registered voter in this state either has or will be receiving soon an early ballot request application, either from your county clerk or from our office at the Secretary of State.”
Evnen says there are ‘big data’ sources with all sorts of information about voters that can be used to try to target certain groups, but they always ask for more personal details than are needed in order to get a ballot.
He says it does appear the application the organization is using was picked up from his office or a county election office online, but he doesn’t know the group or who is behind it.
According to the Center for Voter Information website, the group is a partner organization to the Voter Participation Center, both founded to provide resources and tools to help voting-eligible citizens register and vote in upcoming elections.
The Voter Participation Center website says it’s dedicated to what it calls the ‘rising American electorate’ comprised of young people, people of color and unmarried women that accounts for 64% of Americans eligible to vote in the country.
Both websites say the organizations are non-partisan, non-profit organizations based in the nation’s capital and led by Page Gardner and Tom Lopach.