Pender County Board of Elections raises concerns about identity theft

Aug 28, 2012

A press release from Pender County’s Board of Elections warns that a voter registration form in the wrong hands could lead to identify theft.

WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn checked into the cautionary message and has this report.   

Dennis Boyles, Director of the Pender County Board of Elections, says questions arose when residents say people claiming to be Board of Elections staffers approached them.  BOE employees don’t conduct voter registration drives. 

“What you’ve got to ask yourself is ‘who am I giving my information to?’  In the case of people going door-to-door – these people – most of them are not going to mind giving you an application.  And if you say, ‘Can I mail it in?’ And most of them are going to be fine with that.” 

Marian Lewin, from the League of Women Voters of Wake County, says it’s a longstanding tradition for political parties, candidates, and civic organizations to go door-to-door as part of voter registration drives. 

If someone hands you a North Carolina registration form: 

“Fill it out.  Absolutely.  If you don’t trust that the organization will turn it in and make you a legitimate registered voter, then you should take the form and mail it yourself.  But a variety of organizations have been doing registration drives for a very, very long time.  And I don’t think anybody has ever had identity theft – not that I have ever heard that they’ve been able to trace identity theft back to a voter registration form.” 

But times have changed, says Board of Elections Director Boyles. 

“When you look at a voter registration form, that has your complete name and address and most cases includes your middle name.  It also has your driver’s license number on there, your date of birth, and you’ve got a lot of people out there that don’t need that much information to actually steal your identity.  So will this new concern change the way the League of Women Voters conducts their registration drives? 

Marian Lewin of the Wake County Chapter is unequivocal. 

“No. No. No.” 

To download a voter registration form, click on this link, then click on "voter registration application".