A confusing postcard meant to boost registration has some long-time voters thinking they've been dropped from the rolls.
A Maryland resident and longtime voter got a confusing postcard in the mail on Wednesday telling her that she "does not appear to be registered to vote." Signed by the Administrator of the State Board of Elections, Linda H. Lamone, the missive instructed: "To vote in the November 6, 2012, General Election, you must register to vote by October 16, 2012," and provided an online address through which to register. It said nothing about ignoring the instruction if residents believed they were already registered, or using the site to check the status of an older registration -- common caveats in government notices of this type.
A single mail delivery mistake, maybe? No. The husband of our source -- both asked not to be identified -- is also a longtime voter registered in Maryland. He received the same postcard.
The husband says he voted in Maryland's spring primary in April. Neither he nor his wife had changed address or party affiliation in the intervening six months. They were perplexed. How could it be that they were no longer registered? The husband called the number on the postcard for the Maryland elections office. "I said, I've been voting in Maryland for the last few years, I voted in the spring primary, how can I not be registered?" he recalled of his conversation with a woman at the office. "And she said, 'Oh, we sent that to every voter.' Then she said, you know, 'Sometimes people change their name and address and they have to re-register.' It seemed like it was a mistake."