FactFinder 12 looks into suspicious voting mailers showing up in Kansans’ mailboxes

Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 7:34 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Letters throughout Kansas have been arriving in mailboxes in recent days and raising a lot of questions. The return address says Missouri and inside, is what appears to be a Kansas mail-in ballot application. Eyewitness News received several messages from viewers wondering if this is legitimate.

With a return address from Springfield, Mo. many wonder if this is a scam. The short answer is “no.” The letter that many of you received in the mail comes from the Center for Voter Information, an organization based in Washington, D.C. with a mission of getting more people to vote, especially those the organization feels are under-represented on Election Day.

“Our primary focus is the Rising American Electorate,” said Center for Voter Information President and CEO Tom Lopach. “Unmarried women, people of color and young people who don’t vote in most elections at numbers equal to how they are represented in society.”

Creating confusion is that the application for a mail-in ballot sent by the Center of voter Information looks like the application from the Kansas Secretary of State. It’s the exact same form, except the one many are getting in the mail is already mostly filled out for them.

“We try and make this as easy as possible and the director of elections in Kansas emailed back to us, saying this form is perfectly acceptable,” Lopach said.

The mailer is an organization’s attempt to get more people to vote at a time when many may not feel safe going to the polls.

“With the pandemic, people are appropriately concerned about safe and healthy ways to participate in our democracy, so vote-by-mail has really become part of the solution,” Lopach said.

Lopach said the Center for Voter Information is a nonpartisan, nonprofit that’s only looking to increase voting numbers. If you’re one of the more than 450,000 Kansans who have received the application linked to the Center for Voter Information and don’t want it, throw it away. But if you send it in, it will get you the same mail-in ballot, whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat or neither.

The return address is just that. If the letter can’t be delivered, it would be sent back to that Missouri address because that’s where the Center for Voter Information has one of its dozens of P.O. boxes across the country.

To check the status of your application or your ballot, visit myvoteinfo.voteks.org.

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