Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia citizens began receiving a misleading mailer from the Americans For Prosperity Foundation this week, implying that if they do not update their voter registration they may lose their right to vote in the upcoming election.
West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant said the only instances in which a voter needs to update their voter registration is if they have moved, changed their name, or wish to switch political parties. If none of those apply, a citizen’s voter registration is still valid.
The mailer, which has been confirmed as being received by citizens in eight counties, even includes a voter registration card and a pre-paid return envelope addressed to their county clerk.
Secretary Tennant said the county clerks are the only election officials that will contact voters regarding their registration information. She stressed that legitimate contact will never come from a third party group.
“If you have not moved, changed your name, or switched political parties, then you should throw this mailer into the trash because your voter registration is still valid,” Secretary Tennant said. “We were made aware of this situation because there was a large number of confused citizens calling our office and the offices of county clerks asking questions about why they had to update their voter registration information. The Secretary of State’s Office did not send this mailer, and it did not come from county clerks. We don’t know what the purpose of the mailer is but we do know that it is confusing citizens.”
The mailer does list the correct date for the deadline for new voters to register or to change your voter registration: April 22.
“In Berkeley County we had several people come into the office and call with questions about this mailer, wondering if they were still registered to vote,” said Berkeley County Chief Deputy Clerk Bonnie Woodfall. “There was a great deal of confusion and they were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to vote. The citizens who have called we have reassured them that they are still registered to vote and have encouraged them to throw this mailer away.”
Citizens can check their voter registration using this search feature on the Secretary of State’s website.