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Misdirected and troubling. That's how one Virginia man describes some efforts to increase voter participation. The voter registration form Tim Morris and his wife received at their Bedford, Va. home last week was addressed to their deceased miniature poodle Mozart.
"We looked at it and kinda laughed, but you know, it really is kinda serious too," says Morris.
The form was sent by the Voter Participation Center in Richmond, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization purchases commercial mailing lists for the purpose of finding and contacting unregistered voters.
Morris says he cannot figure out how the agency knew Mozart's age. If he had not died, the pet would have recently turned eighteen years old.
"He had a mind of his own, but I like to think I would have taught him the proper way to vote," Morris says.
The registration card was sent to the dog because the dog's name appeared on a magazine subscription list, the Voter Participation Center said earlier this week in a statement. The organization hopes the mistake will not distract from the larger issue: that more than 73 million people are still not registered to vote in the U.S., said founder Page Gardner in a statement June 20.
"What is a real concern is that a simple piece of mail — an understandable mistake — has gotten so much attention and created a bogus "crisis" in this toxic atmosphere designed to discourage citizens from registering and voting to make our democracy stronger and healthier," Gardner said.
One of Maryland's federal lawmakers is behind some new ideas about campaign finance reform that have stalled in Congress, but are being taken up by local legislatures, including D.C.