Undelivered voter registration cards in Irving raise questions - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Undelivered voter registration cards in Irving raise questions

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Some Irving residents have had mail intended for delivery sent back to where it came from, marked, "Return to sender," including hundreds of voter registration cards.

Now, the county elections department wants to know if the same thing is happening in other parts of the county.

"Once they're returned, we just automatically put them in the system as the person has moved," said Toni Pippins-Poole, Dallas County Elections administrator.

"And that was my big concern, and that's why I decided to step up and send the email," said Robbi Hamida.

So that he can still vote, Hamida sent an email to elections officials after having to prove he still lives at the same Irving address.

"This is the time to vote," said Hamida. "It's early voting now. There are a lot of good things on the ballot. I just want to make sure people have the opportunity to vote and not get distracted."

His email prompted Pippins-Poole to investigate.  

"It was the whole precinct that was in her neighborhood that voter registration cards were just stamped, ‘Return to sender,' ‘Unknown,' ‘Addressee unknown.'"

That precinct is 4621 in Irving, which includes 3,100 registered voters. Of that precinct, 388 identified as not receiving a registration certificate because it was never delivered and subsequently returned.

"That's over ten percent of the voters there didn't receive their voter registration cards," said Pippins-Poole.

The problem stemmed from the Irving Central Post Office -- an employee decided not to deliver the voter registrations and other mail for at least three months, stamping parcels and packages as "Return to sender."

That employee has been fired.

In an email, a U.S. Postal Service spokesperson said, "We apologize to the voters whose cards were inadvertently returned to the Dallas County Elections Department. This is not representative of the level of service we strive to provide customers in Dallas County. Our local management team will work with the Dallas County Elections Department administrator and resolve this issue."

Pippins-Poole wonders if the issue to resolve is larger than one post office and one precinct in Irving.

"Is there a pattern to show that this is an easy way of not delivering the mails?" she said. "Or maybe they don't understand what this card is and what it really means to the voters."

If you go vote are told that you are in "suspense or have been suspended" because your registration card has been returned, indicating you have moved, you can fix that at the polling place by filling out a form called a Statement of Residence.

It asks for your name, address, date of birth, driver's license or other acceptable I.D. number and whether you are a U.S. citizen.

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