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Page Gardner

Page Gardner

Posted: April 30, 2008 01:05 PM

Confusion Surrounding Robo-Calls in North Carolina


This week, more than 276,000 North Carolina residents received a voter registration application from Women's Voices, Women Vote. North Carolina is one of 24 states where we mailed a total of more than 3 million voter registration applications.

In addition to the mailing, calls were made to mail recipients for whom we have working phone numbers to alert the household they would be receiving a voter registration form and encouraging them to register to vote. In advance of the mail, a letter was sent and calls were made to Gary Bartlett in the North Carolina Board of Elections Office notifying them of the intent and content of our mailing effort. A copy of the letter and a press release sent to North Carolina media announcing the registration effort is attached.

We understand concerns have been raised about the source of phone calls placed by Women's Voices, Women Vote. These calls were our sincere attempt to encourage voter registration for those not registered for the general election this fall. We understand North Carolina's primary registration effort deadline was April 11, (other than those participating in early voting who may register and vote at the same time this week). We apologize for any confusion our calls may have caused. Our intent and purpose was solely to call attention to the registration applications we hope will be completed and returned to the Board of Elections office making thousands more North Carolinians participants in one of the most important elections of our lifetimes.

Women's Voices. Women Vote has been in contact with the North Carolina State Board of Elections to work together to resolve any confusion regarding our voter registration efforts. Women's Voices. Women vote is also working with its mail vendor and postal officials in North Carolina in an attempt to delay the delivery of the voter registration applications until after the primary.

Women's Voices. Women Vote is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to bringing the voices of unmarried women to our democracy. Our goal in this election cycle is to register 1 million of these women on their own, in turn helping to bring their concerns regarding making affordable health care, equal pay for equal work and a brighter future for themselves and the lives of their families, to the forefront of the election this fall.

Already this cycle, our voter registration efforts have generated more than 26,600 registration applications in North Carolina. Women's Voices. Women Vote first registered voters in North Carolina in 2004. Nationally, Women's Voices Women Vote registered over 100,000 new voters in both 2004 and 2006. Since July of 2007, almost 400,000 additional individuals have returned our applications in anticipation of participating in the 2008 general election.

Bryant (Ethel Bryant, Edgecombe County Board of Elections) agreed the method seems to be working. "They send out the voter's applications in a pre-packaged envelope with postage paid," she said. "Many are female and from rural areas, where it is harder to run out and get a stamp to post a letter. Since it doesn't need a stamp, they are able to drop it right in the mail."


"Voter Registration Cards Pour In," The Daily Southerner, February 29, 2008

"This is, by far, the largest we've seen," Johnnie Mclean (deputy director of the State Board of Elections) said. One reason for the state's uptick are prefilled voter registration applications from a Washington-based voting advocacy (WVWV) group that were mailed to thousands of private mailboxes in North Carolina. Recipients can verify their information and mail the cards to the state elections office.

"Young Voters: Sign Us Up", Greensboro News-Record, March 9, 2008