I’m not even joking:
A state effort to register every eligible voter has backfired, resulting in hundreds — possibly thousands — of persons being erroneously told they are not on the voting rolls, county and state officials said today.
You may be asking yourself how something like this could happen:
Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells, whose office issued the letters, and Assistant Public Advocate Jo Astrid Gladding confirmed the erroneous notices were the result of an effort to match voter rolls to motor vehicle records.
Glitches in the computer data — some as minor as a missing middle initial — led to notices going to voters who are in fact registered, according to Susan Evans, a spokeswoman for Wells. One source of trouble, she said, was that voters who first registered before a birth date was required are listed in state elections computers as having been born on 01-01-1800 — which obviously does not match the birth dates on their driving records.
Evans said 300,000 letters went out to voters living in Essex, Bergen and five South Jersey counties. She did not know how many were erroneous. Before the mailings resume, she said, the data will be scrubbed — in particular to keep those voters listed as 208 years old from getting the notices “so they’re not unduly alarmed.”
If you got one of these letters inadvertently, you can call your county commissioner of registration or municipal clerk to confirm that you are in fact registered to vote.
On that note however, the deadline to register to vote is October 14. If you actually aren’t registered to vote, you still have a little time left. If you are registered, have you considered voting absentee?