The Center for Voter Information (CVI), a nonprofit voter registration group that is not affiliated with the state, has informed the Wisconsin Elections Commission that some Wisconsin recipients of its pre-filled absentee ballot application received an incorrect form for the individual addressed, and that these mailers list a name on the envelope and a different name on the inside vote-by-mail application. CVI’s commercial printer has taken responsibility for the error.
In recent days, WEC staff have received numerous calls from voters – chiefly in Dane County – notifying us of the issue. However, CVI and its printer are unable to determine the geographic scope of the erroneous mailing recipients, meaning it’s possible that voters across the state may receive an erroneous absentee ballot application from CVI. CVI has informed the WEC that voters who receive the erroneous form may contact them at @email to report the error.
If you receive questions from voters who have received this third-party mailing, you may consider advising them of the following:
• This mailing is from a private, third-party group called the Center for Voter Information, which is not affiliated with election officials. Wisconsin law does not prohibit a private organization or party from sending out a request form. Election officials do not have any oversight authority over third-party mailings.
• The CVI form is only a request form – it is not a ballot.
• CVI has issued a letter to state officials acknowledging that, due to a printing error, some Wisconsin recipients of its pre-filled absentee ballot applications received an incorrect form for the individual addressed, and that these mailers list a name on the envelope and a different name on the inside absentee ballot application.
• Receiving a mailing from a third party with incorrect information doesn’t necessarily mean the voter’s information on file with election officials is incorrect. Voters can check to ensure their voter registration is up to date at https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/My-Voter-Info and voters can check to see whether they have an absentee ballot request on file at https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/Track-My-Ballot.
• Only a voter can request an absentee ballot for him or herself unless the voter has a disability and requires authorized assistance with the act of requesting the absentee ballot. If someone other than the voter or a lawful assistor requests an absentee ballot, they could be referred to a district attorney for prosecution.
• The information on the form (name and address) is not personally identifiable information protected by law. In other words, the information is public and available for third-party groups to request.
• Voters can contact CVI at @email or the contact information on the form to let them know about the error and to remove themselves from the mailing list.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at @email or call the Help Desk at (608) 261-2028 with any questions or concerns that you may have.