The North Carolina State Board of Elections has received numerous complaints over mailers that include confusing and inaccurate information about the upcoming midterm elections.
According to a press release from the State Board, the mailers include the notice “Important Voter Notification” in red letters as well as information on whether the constituent voted in 2018 and 2020.
The State Board has said that it is not sending the mailers. Instead, the sponsor of the approximately 800,000 mailers is the Voter Education Network Independent Expenditure political action committee.
The PAC, which was formed in Oct. 2022, shared in a statement with the Raleigh News & Observer that it exists “to encourage people to vote” and that it “made every effort to ensure that the data it received from its national list vendor — whose data originates from the North Carolina State Board of Elections’ voter file — is accurate.”
The PAC was registered this month by Jason Falls, a former Cleveland County Commission chairman and cousin of state House Speaker Tim Moore, according to WRAL. A spokesperson for Moore told WRAL that Moore is not involved in the organization.
Through preliminary investigation by the State Board, the information in the mailers did not always match official state voter records, according to the N&O. The mailers include the board’s phone number and website so that individuals can contact the State Board in case the voter information is wrong, hence the uptake in calls to the board by concerned North Carolinians.
D. Sunshine Hillygus, a Duke professor of political science and public policy, is hesitant to completely label the mailer as misinformation, but does find some elements of them to be puzzling.
“One of the things about the mailer that is so odd is their instruction to call as opposed to just [going to] the voter search website,” Hillygus said, adding that the instruction to call adds a burden to overwhelmed election administration officials.
Hillygus also wondered if households that received mailers were targeted by the PAC.
She recommends that the best way to find out whether one is registered to vote is to use the State Board voter lookup tool. In its press release, the State Board similarly reminded voters to use the tool, which only requires an individual’s first and last name. Using the tool reveals previous voter history.
Editor's Note: This story was updated Tuesday evening to include information about Jason Falls registering the PAC and Falls' relation to state House Speaker Tim Moore.
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Michael Ramos is a Trinity first-year and a staff reporter of The Chronicle's 118th volume.