Women’s Voices, Women’s Vote is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that aims to register single women to vote across the country.
So Portlander Jennifer Elder and her husband of 11 years, Paul Collins, were surprised when she got two WVWV letters April 29, the last day to register for the May 20 primary, saying: “If you have moved, you must update your voter registration in order to vote.”
“My first impression was, ‘Oh, are we not registered?’” says Collins, who opened the mail. “I could swear we were registered for this address. And of course we were.”
Thousands more registered Oregon voters have been just as confused by WVWV letters since last year, according to Secretary of State Bill Bradbury. His office has been calling and sending “please-stop-doing-this-you’re-insane” letters since then to WVWV, according to Bradbury spokesman Scott Moore.
The message is, “Assuming your intentions are good, you’re causing more harm than good,” Moore says.
“They’ve been completely unresponsive,” Moore says. “It’s an absolute nightmare.”
Besides targeting registered voters, WVWV letters have also gone to dead people and 10-year-olds in Oregon, according to Moore. Bloggers have uncovered problems in North Carolina, where WVWV apparently targeted black neighborhoods with robo-calls after that state’s registration deadline. As bloggers note, WVWV’s board and staff includes prominent Clinton supporters like Bill’s old White House chief of staff, John Podesta.
In a May 5 press release, WVWV called the North Carolina problems an error. That doesn’t satisfy the pro-Obama Collins, who says, “Either it’s deliberate or it’s dangerously inept.”
Asked about Bradbury’s complaints, a WVWV spokeswoman said, “That has not happened…but let me check into that.” We didn’t hear back.