The Campaign of John McCain has begun sending out misleading information to voters about absentee voting. His target audience? Republicans.
The flyer above went to a registered Republican in Wake County. John McCain is telling people to request a ballot on a postcard using their own handwriting with their name, residence, phone number and signature. The address example actually contains two addresses. One address in the example has a non-existent zip code, 127602. The other address immediately below it is a PO Box address.
The return address given is actually that of the Wake County Board of Elections but there is no clear identification of the Board. It simply says "Director of Elections". The postcard requires a first class stamp but does not tell the recipient the actual postage required.
Here is what the Wake County Board of Elections actually requires:
HOW TO REQUEST AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
All requests for absentee ballots must be made in writing. We cannot accept requests by phone or email. Mail, fax, or hand-deliver a written request to the Wake County Board of Elections.
WHAT MUST I INCLUDE IN MY WRITTEN REQUEST?
* Voter’s name
* Voter’s current residence address
* Voter’s date of birth
* Address where ballot should be mailed
(if different from the residence address)
* A daytime phone number
(in case we have questions or need additional information)
* Voter’s signature
WHERE DO I MAIL MY ABSENTEE BALLOT REQUEST?
Wake County Board of Elections
PO Box 695
Raleigh, NC 27602
WHAT ARE THE DEADLINES FOR REQUESTING AND RETURNING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT?
September 15, 2008
Beginning date to request an absentee ballot to be mailed.
October 28, 2008 5:00 P.M.
Absentee ballot requests must be received by BOE office.
November 3, 2008 5:00 P.M.
Voted absentee ballots must be received by BOE office.
The critical piece of missing information is the date of birth and, to avoid the risk of identity theft, that should not be placed in full view on the back of a postcard. At first blush this looked like a voter caging exercise but upon review it just seems sloppy. The pre-sorted mailing rate does not allow for returns. Such a request to the Board of Elections would not be valid and a response would generate more expense and delay and likely frustrate the recipient.
For anyone who has received this mailing, please contact your own County Board of Elections to clarify the requirements that apply to your circumstances and needs. Lord only knows what Democrats received in their McCain Mailin'.