Dogs, Dead People Get Voter Forms from Nonprofit

Mike Baker, Seattle Times, July 13, 2012

The voter registration form arrived in the mail last month with some key information already filled in: Rosie Charlston’s name was complete, as was her Seattle address.

Problem is, Rosie was a black lab who died in 1998.

A group called the Voter Participation Center has touted the distribution of some 5 million registration forms in recent weeks, targeting Democratic-leaning voting blocs such as unmarried women, blacks, Latinos and young adults.

But residents and election administrators around the country also have reported a series of bizarre and questionable mailings addressed to animals, dead people, noncitizens and people already registered to vote.

Brenda Charlston wasn’t the only person to get documents for her pet: A Virginia man said similar documents arrived for his dead dog, Mozart, while a woman in the state got forms for her cat, Scampers.


The group at the root of the questionable mailings—the Voter Participation Center—acknowledges that the databases it uses to contact possible voters are imperfect because they are developed from commercially collected information. The group also says it expects people who receive misdirected mail to simply throw it away.

Several election officials said they believed the voter registration systems were secure enough to catch people who might improperly submit the misdirected documents, since registrants typically have to furnish ID and election managers use databases—such as death records—to see if someone should be disallowed.

But administrators in New Mexico, a potential swing state in the presidential race, warned that ineligible voters who complete the documents could make it onto the rolls.

New Mexico is one of two states in which noncitizens can qualify for a driver’s license by simply proving residency—not necessarily legal residency—and state elections officials have no way of verifying the legal status of those who file registration documents.

Ken Ortiz, the chief of staff at the New Mexico secretary of state’s office, said some noncitizens have contacted the state asking why they received the forms when they’d previously been told that they could not vote.


The Voter Participation Center works with a vendor that has access to multiple commercial databases that could include people who subscribe to magazines or junk mail using names of their pet, said Page Gardner, the group’s president. She said the nonprofit tries its best to target only eligible and unregistered voters but that some other names inevitably get on the final list.

“Is it a perfect process? No,” Gardner said. Ultimately, she said they rely on the integrity of people and the security of the system and notes that the same forms are available to anyone at county offices or on the Internet.


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  • My Golden Retriever is very conservative. Since she is all white she naturally belongs to the CCC. She is very concerned that her voting packet didn’t arrive and points to the fact that her prior registration was Conservative. Our county elections supervisor is as slippery as a snake so she claims that when she changed her registration to conservative instead of the local favorite, democrat, she was wiped off of the rolls. Now here in Florida we were trying to straighten out the voter rolls but that nasty E Holder said no such luck. Didn’t even throw us a bone. So the Golden says don’t show your face around here Holder and Obama, I am a good dog but will bite you.

  • JackKrak

    Mention this story to a Democrat and he will roll his eyes and tell you again how stupid you are for being worried about voter fraud – it just doesn’t exist!

    • The__Bobster

      Eric Holder Demeans Voting Integrity in Texas—Forgetting Landslide Lyndon
      By Brenda Walker on July 15, 2012 at 12:14pm Democrats are busy these days saying that voter fraud is imaginary so we shouldn’t worry about it (even as a liberal group is sending out pre-filled voter registration materials to dogs, dead people and non-citizens).Attorney General Eric Holder spoke to the NAACP conventions in Houston recently and compared Texas’ voter ID law to the poll tax, a hated method of suppressing the black vote back in the bad old days. Apparently the Obama administration thinks support among black voters is squishy, and they must be frightened in order to show up to vote.It’s actually pretty twisted that AG Holder would trash talk voter ID in Texas, where one of the most famous cases of voter fraud in American history occurred.

  • IstvanIN

    Better to mail out a few extra forms, people are well aware whether or not they are legally eligible to vote, than miss some eligible voters who would then be disenfranchised.

    • Dan

      If they’re well aware they are legally eligible to vote then they should be well aware of when they can vote. You come on here and spout nonsense constantly – what is the point?

  • Church_of_Jed

    Only the Racist Tea Party would suggest that the Obamau-mau, our historic and wonderfully transformative first African American president, shouldn’t be reelected by any means necessary.


  • The Worlds Scapegoat

    My pet spider is a libertarian. We argue sometimes about politics, but when he starts to win I get out the fly swatter and he shuts up. He gets a mail-in-ballot because it takes too long to walk to the polling place, and he doesn’t speak English very well, and the last time someone almost stepped on him. 

    • Southern__Hoosier

      Does he have a photo ID?

  • The liberals at Huffington Post call it voter suppression or some such.  None of them the slightest bit of interest in an honest election, but only in pushing through more of the liberal/feminist/atheist agenda.  I’ll bet that most of the dead dogs always vote democrat.  It’s the free bones they like.

  • According to Democrats, voter fraud doesn’t exist and we are “racists” for even suggesting as much…

  • SirKevin1231

    This is the reason why the demonrats cry and want recounts when they lose the race. To them there is no way in hell they could of lost with all the fraudulent votes cast for them. Hanging chads are racist.

  • Shawn_thefemale

    So even black dogs get preference?

  • Shawn_thefemale

    Ahh, the joys of dogs. A good day is watching a the rare black come in my shop when they spot my Boxer. The eyes get as big as saucers and they immediately start backing up, waving their arms and screeching. I guess Germans don’t care much for the Ethnic Ones, either.

  • Verne

    Wow, I thought dead people and dogs WAS their voting base?
    Live and learn.

    Many years ago I read this thought:
    It is NOT the honesty of the voters that counts as much as the honesty of those who claim to count the votes.

    Why are American votes tallied in another country?

  • SLCain

    I would prefer dogs as voters over many people who are allowed to vote in this country.