Lewiston residents are concerned about a letter received in the mail casting doubt about their voter registration status.

The letter states, according to our records “no one at this address is currently registered to vote,” and while that may be true for some who received the letter, other longtime voters immediately called the Lewiston City Clerk’s Office with questions.

However, the letter is actually from the Center for Voter Information, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. This is clearly visible on the envelope and is also stated in the fine print of the letter.

Lewiston City Clerk Kathleen Montejo, seen with absentee ballots prior to the July 14 election, says a mailing from a Washington group has some local residents concerned that they may no longer be registered to vote. Montejo assures those who were registered that they are still registered. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

City Clerk Kathleen Montejo said residents are feeling “threatened” and “scared,” adding that the current political climate surrounding voting has likely served to make people even more fearful.

According to her, more than 20 people have called or visited the city clerk’s office concerned about their registration status.

Montejo said the inclusion of a pre-printed envelope addressed to the city clerk’s office and a voter registration application prompted residents to assume it was from the city.

“Completely understandable how anyone would view it as such,” Montejo said. “I probably would do the same if I got it at home, so I completely understand.”

She also added that the city clerk’s office did not provide any information to the organization.

Montejo assured residents that no surprise changes have been made to voter registration records. Anyone who was registered to vote before is still registered to vote.

“I think the overall (probable) purpose and goal of the mailing is great, which is to encourage people to register to vote, and to do it early and that’s wonderful,” Montejo said. “If it were mailed to people who are not registered voters, that would be fantastic, but what appears to be happening is that it’s (also) being mailed to people who are already registered voters.”

Letters like these tend to be sent out every two years before important elections, however the response this year was greater than in the past, Montejo said.

The Center for Voter Information website states it is a nonpartisan organization which aims to provide unbiased information about candidates and their position on issues.

Residents of Auburn and South Portland also received similar letters, she said.

People can opt out of receiving future mail from the Center for Voter Information on its website.


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