Private group mails voter registration forms

A private organization called the Voter Participation Center (VPC) is sending millions of letters to prospective voters throughout the United States, but some recipients are not eligible because they are too young or not yet citizens. 


Chicago Election Board Chairman Marisel A. Hernandez said the form letters include a voter-registration form with the recipient’s name and address pre-printed on the form.  Hernandez said the forms are very useful for those who need to register at their new addresses.  But she noted that some residents have called to ask why they received the letters if the law does not allow them to register to vote or if they are already registered. 

“If you are a U.S. citizen who will be 18 or older on Nov. 8 and if you need to register at your new address, you may register with this form by completing it, signing it and returning it to your local election authority,” Hernandez said. “But you should disregard this letter if you are: (1) not eligible to vote; or (2) already registered at your current home address, perhaps under a slightly different name; or (3) claim the right to vote elsewhere.”  


Chicago voters may check their voter-registration status at Chicago voters also may use this web site and an Illinois driver’s license or state ID card to register to vote online or file an address change or a name change. Voters anywhere in Illinois also may check their status here.


Those who have questions about a letter from VPC may call 202-659-9570 or write to VPC, 27 N. Wacker Dr., Suite 710, Chicago IL 60606.


The Illinois State Board of Elections has advised election agencies statewide that the VPC is operating as a non-government organization using mailing lists created by private marketing firms. VPC and other groups have issued similar mailings in past election years to reach people who are potentially eligible to vote but not registered.