Ballot by Mail

Are Your Wondering About that Election Mailing?
Posted on 08/06/2020

Are Your Wondering About that Election Mailing?

You and other voters in your household may have received a mailing from The Center for Voter Information with a pre-filled absentee ballot application. You may be wondering, rightly, if it is legitimate, and even legal, for you to receive this. Groups such as this are known as “Third Party Vendors”. They are civic or political groups that buy mailing lists from various sources. The Northampton Voter Registration Office and the Virginia Department of Elections have no connection with them and no control over what they send you or the information contained in the mailing. Sometimes the information is old, unreliable, or may be addressed to deceased voters or people who used to live at your address. It is perfectly legal for third party vendors to encourage people to vote and to assist voters by sending prefilled forms.

Things to look for to evaluate the legitimacy of the mailing:
• Your personal information is correct
• The address where you would like your ballot delivered is correct
• If there is an envelope to return the application, the return address is our office, Voter Registration, PO Box 510, Eastville, VA 23347

As previously stated, most of these groups are legitimate and are only trying to help people vote. However, in the past we have seen some mailings that are not legitimate. The Department of Elections will then work with the group to either fix bad information, or may even ask them to cease and desist.

Red Flags to look for:
• The group does not clearly identify themselves or their mission.
• Your information is not correct
• Your ballot will be sent to a different address than yours
• There is a different return address on the envelope to mail back to us
• The mailing contains hyper-partisan or misleading information
As we get deeper into election season, these mailing may increase. Please do your due diligence as they arrive in your mail. If you see something obviously misleading, please call our office. 
Our contact information is:

Terrence P. Flynn
General Registrar

Liz Smith
Assistant Registrar

Vote Registration
16404 Courthouse Rd
PO Box 510
Eastville VA 23347

Phone: 757-678-0480
Fax: 757-678-0453

vote@co.northampton.va.us

Below is the response by the Department of Elections:

Virginia Department of Elections' Statement Concerning Third Party Mailings

 

RICHMOND, VA – The Center for Voter Information recently mailed absentee ballot applications to Virginia residents. The Virginia Department of Elections has no affiliation with this group nor coordinates with any third party groups on campaign efforts.

We are aware that voters in multiple localities that received an absentee ballot application were given pre-paid return envelopes addressed to the incorrect registrar’s office. 

The Virginia Department of Elections encourages all voters that would like to receive an absentee ballot for the November election to apply electronically on our website www.elections.virginia.gov/voterinformation.

Any applications that arrive in the wrong locality's office will be forwarded immediately to the correct office for processing.

If you have already applied for an absentee ballot, you do not need to submit a new application. The first day that absentee ballots will be mailed is September 18, 2020. Other inquiries regarding this mailing can be directed to the Center for Voter Information.