Undelivered voter registration cards will cost Dallas County - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Undelivered voter registration cards will cost Dallas County

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Dallas County Commissioners asked questions Tuesday about a story FOX 4 broke Monday about undelivered mail in one part of Irving, including nearly 400 voter registration cards marked "Return to sender."

Trying to determine the scope of the problem means the county will have to spend money to hire temporary workers.

"We just don't know how well...widespread this is," said Dallas County Elections administrator Toni Pippins-Poole, who went before commissioners Tuesday to explain the potential problem.

The problem reportedly 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."

In Irving's precinct 4621, 388 voters never received voter registration cards, and 90,000 of the 1.2 million voter registration cards mailed out have been returned.

Pippins-Poole says that's about average.

But because of what happened at the Irving Central Post Office, Pippins-Poole will have to go through all 90,000 returned and identify those stamped "Return to sender" without yellow post office stickers.

"We're gonna have to find temporary personnel to come in, so there's gonna be a cost for that to bring in temporary personnel to go through those to see if there really is a much wider problem," said Pippins-Poole.

"Sad to hear that happened with the post office," said Dallas County Comissioner Dr. Elba Garcia. "What's your timeline and what will be your cost?"

"Going through that 90,000, I really don't know how long that's really gonna take," said Pippins-Poole. "It may take a week it; may take a couple of weeks depending on how many people that I can bring in."

In a statement Tuesday, the postal service said, "We apologize to our customers who have not yet received their Voter Registration Cards. Yesterday, the Postal Service received a number of Voter Registration Cards from Dallas County Elections officials and they were re-entered into the mail system today. The postal service takes this matter very seriously and is currently investigating the issue. We are committed to delivering all voter registration cards in a timely matter."

According to Pippins-Poole, not only has the one postal worker been fired; three others are now on leave as the post office investigates.

Not having your voter registration card does not mean you can't vote -- you can still vote, and if questioned about whether you've moved, you can fill out a Statement of Residency at your polling location.

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