Letter Mistakenly Sent to County’s Party-Affiliated Voters

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Tuesday October 30, 2007

Alameda County election officials are saying that letters sent out to county voters this week indicating the recipients were not registered by party was done by mistake, and no changes have been actually made to registered voters’ party affiliation. 

“It was a human error,” Alameda County Registrar of Voters spokesperson Guy Ashley said by telephone. “The letter went out to many people who should not have gotten it. We’re sorry for the confusion this has caused.”  

Ashley said that the letter, which advises voters they must send in a form in order to qualify to get a ballot from either the American Independent or Democratic party for the February 2008 presidential primary, was intended to be sent to those voters who declined to state their party affiliation when they registered to vote. 

Instead, “somebody pushed the wrong button,” Ashley said, and the letters went out to a list of voters who had actually chosen a party affiliation. 

One of those voters was Berkeley City Councilmember Kris Worthington, who said he has been a registered Democrat since 1972. Worthington said he had received calls from several worried constituents who had also gotten the letters. 

The list was sent to a third-party vendor in Washington State who actually did the mailing. Ashley said the error only involved a list mistakenly sent out to the vendor. He said a follow-up letter would be sent to the same voters later this week advising of the error. 

Ashley said he had no information on the number of voters who received the erroneous letter. There were reports of letters received by both Democratic Party and Green Party voters.