Tuesday, October 02, 2007

WV Elder Alert: Postcard from WVSOS

193,000 West Virginians, many older adults, have received or will receive a postcard in the mail from the WV Secretary of State's (WVSOS) office requesting some personal information.
This is not a scam, I have verified with the WVSOS elections division that this request is indeed from them. They explained that federal law (the Help America Vote Act of 2002) requires them to keep a statewide voter registration database, and that not all county voting records included the unique identifying information (either Drivers License number or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number) required for the state to comply with federal law.

Many smart seniors will be wary of putting any identifying information onto a postcard, since any person who sees the postcard could potentially use the information for identity theft. I have discussed this concern with the folks at the WVSOS, and they suggested that anyone returning the completed card either:

- Don't tear the card off. After filling in the requested information fold the perforated edge the opposite way, so that the SSN or DL information are covered, then tape around the edges and mail it, or
- put the completed card in an envelope and address it and add your own stamp for postage

If you receive the card you don't have either a SSN or a Drivers License, you can use another kind of unique identifying number, such as the one on a non-drivers ID from the DMV. If you have no unique identifying number, you should contact your local County Clerk. You can get contact information for each County Clerk at the WVSOS website here www.wvsos.com/service/rosters/countyclerks.htm

For more information about this process please see the WVSOS press release:
www.wvsos.com/pressoffice/09-27-07PressReleaseVoterDataMatch.pdf If you have questions you may contact the WVSOS toll-free at (866) SOS-VOTE or (866) 767-8683. For some summary information about the Help America Vote Act at www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2003/December/03_crt_728.htm And for the text of the entire Act see www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/hava/HAVA_2002.html

Any senior West Virginian age 60 or over who does not have a unique identifying number and who has trouble related to verifying his or her voter registration record may contact West Virginia Senior Legal Aid for assistance at 1-800-229-5068.

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