Registration letters causing confusion among voters

Letters come from organizations trying to register voters

The presidential race is a little over four months away, meaning many will soon be registering to vote.

But some in our area are getting misleading letters about their voting status for upcoming elections.

The letters people have been receiving are called “Voter Participation Letters” and are not affiliated with the county or state.

While officials say they are not officially a scam, it’s causing a lot of confusion among voters.

Over the last several months, Sparta resident Debby Martin received two “Voter Participation Letters” in the mail.

“It said Government sensitive information, response required,” she said.

The letters said that she was not registered to vote, and was asking her to re-register by providing personal information.

“Social Security number, driver’s license number,” she said. “That’s very scary.”

The only problem was that Martin was already properly registered, and the letters were not from the government, but traced back to Florida.

“People really don’t know because their envelopes are saying government sensitive, response required, you’re thinking you must take action and do this immediately,” Martin said.

La Crosse County Clerk Ginny Dankmeyer said the letters are from outside organizations trying to get people registered and is fairly common during big election years.

“It’s a very misleading letter,” she said. “It’s written in a way to get you to react to it.”

She said the letters can be intentionally confusing.

“They look very official, and I think that’s the whole point,” Dankmeyer said. “They try to make it look so official, and make it look like it’s coming from your municipal or county clerk, to get that reaction from you.”

Dankmeyer said the best advice is to ignore the letters.

“I certainly would not be giving any personal information or private information out, especially when you don’t know where this stuff is coming from,” she said.

Martin contacted her county clerk, and disregarded the letters, but she wants everyone to be aware.

“If you don’t know, please call someone,” she said.

The clerk’s office said that if your address or name hasn’t changed, there is no need to re-register.

They said you can check your registration status online at www.myvote.wi.gov/en-us.