Letter raises questions, confuses some Valley residents over voter registration

Posted at 6:48 PM, Jun 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-16 12:45:26-04

An official letter is causing concerns over voter registration and possible identity theft.

ABC15 was alerted to a letter that's been sent to nearly half-a-million addresses around the state by a Washington, D.C., organization called "Voter Participation Center."

The words "DO NOT DISCARD" and "GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT" are prominently displayed on the front of the envelope.

"I would definitely think it was something important. I would open it, obviously," said Christine McCain, an unregistered Phoenix voter.

"The letterhead looks legit. I mean, I don't normally fill out my information and send it to random, something vague like that," McCain said.

The letter comes with an Arizona voter registration form. It asks for information like a partial Social Security number, driver's license number and date of birth.

It also comes with a self-addressed envelope to be dropped in the mail to the Maricopa County Recorder's Office, and it has some fine print, including a local Phoenix address.

ABC15 went to the address, which turned out to be a UPS store on Camelback Road and Central Avenue.

We also called the number listed on the letter and it went to the Voter Participation Center in Washington, D.C.

A spokesperson said the organization is legitimate. It's a non-profit, non-partisan and non-government organization that obtains a list of registered voters from the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office. 

The organization then cross references the list with another list from a third party vendor to find potentially unregistered voters.

The Maricopa County Recorder's Office says it is powerless to regulate the process and that people have been calling to ask whether it is a scam.

A spokesperson for the Maricopa County Recorder said they will process the forms filled out and that they have done just that. 

The Voter Participation Center has been able to register more than 60,000 Arizonans since 2006.

The Maricopa County Recorder said if residents question the legitimacy, then they can register directly with the DMV or with the Recorder's Office.