Dead Augusta dog receives voter registration form
A Georgia woman said her two-years-dead dog received a voter registration form this week from a controversial nonprofit that aims to boost voter registration and participation rates of unmarried women, youth and people of color.
Augusta resident Jeanne Cleveland said she received a partially completed voter registration form addressed to her West Highland terrier, McGregor, lacking only his birth, gender, race and social security number.
“How in the world did anybody come up with McGregor Cleveland?” she wondered. “I know they vote dead people, but I didn’t know they vote dogs, especially dead ones.”
The form was one of nearly 100,000 mailed to Georgians last month by the Voter Participation Center, a nonprofit steered by former Democratic operatives that primarily engages minority communities.
The group fails to disclose its funding, but was launched as a project of the Tides Foundation in 2003 under its former identity, “Women’s Voices, Women Vote.” It counted John Podesta of the Center for American Progress and ex-Hillary Clinton campaign chief Maggie Williams among its board members.
Though it’s name has since changed to reflect an expanded focus, the group netted at least $2.5 million in grants in the interim from the monied progressive outfit. The largest single donation, in 2008, registered just north of $650,000.
But Georgia isn’t the first state in which ineligible voters, or dead dogs, were targeted by VPC.
The group’s voter registration program ran afoul of elections officials in Florida and Washington State concerned that their mailings, while legal, might facilitate voter fraud.
A spokesman for Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp did not immediately return a request for comment on whether local election officials were likewise concerned.
– James Richardson