Romney Campaign Joins Voter Suppression Efforts In Virginia

That ad was created by the Voter Participation Center in response to outraged fluff from Virginia Republicans over voter registration forms being sent to people, and in some cases pets, who aren't eligible to vote.

This is where I point out that pawprints are not usually accepted as signatures in state registrars' offices. Mailing is not a crime.

The Voter Participation Center (VPC) exists to reach out to unregistered voters in more than half the states in this country and get them to vote. They do this by combing lists, comparing them to registration lists, and sending out a pre-populated voter registration form clearly identified with their organization. Before any mailing goes out, state registrars have an opportunity to review and edit what is sent. It's not being done in a vacuum, and 15,000 people have returned the forms to the Virginia registrar, which is really why the Romney campaign has heartburn, I'm sure.

As usual, the right wing is determined to invent a problem so they can apply a solution like Voter ID, which we already know impacts those very same voters targeted by the VPC.

The Romney campaign has jumped on the bandwagon, calling for an investigation by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli into their practices. Wouldn't that be a nice "get"? A peek inside the lists the VPC uses, a list of voters, all sorts of goodies there for the taking if they actually got the Cooch to agree. The VPC is pushing back hard against their efforts, and well they should. For some bizarre reason the Romney people have it in their head that mailing a form is the same as submitting one for registration.

As anyone who has ever had the misfortune of working with lists knows, it's pretty easy to have entries that aren't right. A typo, someone uses their pet's name to register or subscribe to something, any number of things can cause list errors. But there isn't a problem unless someone actually picks up that erroneous form and tries to use it. Then they're committing fraud, and it would be the job of the registrar to verify those registrations anyway.

All in all, it's just more right wing smoke and mirrors intended to discredit any organization which extends opportunities for all citizens to vote.

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But there is a humorous side to an otherwise fairly mundane story. In their zeal to find some sort of ZOMG conspiracy, PJ Media's reporter asked why they are "spoofing their zip code" on a conference call with the VPC on this issue. Nay, they even have it up on their front page right now!

Sorry to destroy that exclusive for you, PJ Media, but you see, when you send mass mailings with reply mail on them, the United States Postal Service assigns a "QBRM" number and code.

The ZIP+4 Code assigned by the Postal Service is unique for that category of letter-size BRM. The ZIP+4 IMb barcode provides for sortation on postal automated equipment by specific size and rate categories (i.e., cards, 1 oz. letters, 2 oz. letters, etc.).

So you see, there's no conspiracy to "spoof" a zip code, Brian Preston of PJ Media (aka Tatler). It's called complying with the rules. Gosh, I'll bet you anything FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity does it too!

Another conspiracy theory killed before it's born.


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