The Buzz

Voter Participation Center apologizes for registration deadline error

Missouri’s voter registration deadline is Oct. 12
Missouri’s voter registration deadline is Oct. 12

A group called the Voter Participation Center is apologizing for sending mailers to some 95,000 Missourians with incorrect voter registration deadlines.

The group listed Oct. 17 as the deadline when the actual cutoff for registering to vote is Oct. 12.

The group describes itself as a non-profit, non-partisan organization “dedicated to increasing the participation of historically underrepresented Americans in our democracy.”

Not much else is known about the center.

“VPC takes full responsibility for the error,” said President Page Gardner in a statement on the group’s website. “In order to correct the mistake, VPC is mailing a postcard correcting the error to all 95,000 Missourians, and has written a letter of apology to Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander.”

But The Buzz has also learned that the organization sent mailings to already registered Missouri voters, and that’s led to some confusion.

According to the Associated Press, Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren has said the mailings could lead some voters who already are registered to believe they're not. That, Noren said, could discourage them from going to the polls in November.

The office of Secretary of State Jason Kander, the state’s top elections official, said it’s aware of the issue and has looked into it.

“From everything we have seen and heard about the mailings so far, there is no law prohibiting this,” spokeswoman Stephanie Fleming said. “We are continuing to monitor the situation to see if anything changes.

“VPC contacted our office and took full responsibility for the notices with an incorrect voter registration deadline. They have assured us they will mail a new notice with the correct deadline, which is October 12. We are continuing to monitor the situation and have been communicating with local election authorities about it so eligible voters have the correct information and are not disenfranchised.”