WJTV News Channel 12 - Voter Report Cards

Voter Report Cards

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SALEM, VA -

When Bonnie Philpott was looking through her mail on Friday, she found a big surprise. A letter, labeled voter audit, comparing her voting record with other people in the Salem community.

"I just couldn't believe they were invading peoples privacy like that and sending letters out like that," says Philpott.

The letter suggests she vote in the upcoming election, as a way to improve her voting record. Philpott says the letter was something that made her concerned.

"After I read it to my husband I said, I'm going to call the registrars office, and they told me they'd had other calls on this," says Philpott.

Katherin Elam, a chairman for Salem City's Electoral Board, says these letters are not official.

"That has not been authorized by the State Board of Elections, any of your local boards or general registrars," says Elam.

She says there are two separate groups that are sending out voter report cards or voter audits, but none of the information contained within them has been authorized by the board of elections. Good news, since Philpott's letter ends by saying her voter record will be shared with neighbors after the election.

"Well I thought, that's just going too far," says Philpott. "It's your decision whether you want to vote."

Elam has some advice for Philpott and anyone else who has gotten a voter report card in the mail.

"The letters that you're getting, I would disregard or consider them to be advertisements," says Elam. "We're not sure what kind of effect it will have on our turnout, but obviously its got a lot of people concerned."

With the election just three days away, Philpott can rest assured her voting record will not be shared with any of her neighbors.

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