FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Secretary of State Michael Adams and Attorney General Daniel Cameron issued a warning Tuesday about a text scam hitting Kentucky voters six weeks before the Nov. 3 general election.
They also slammed a voter registration effort as a scam, drawing a sharp rebuke from the organization.
Kentuckians are receiving letters from a group called the “Center for Voter Information,” pushing them to register to vote.
However, Adams took issue with the letters because, in some cases, they were sent people who already are registered to vote. Others have gone to people who actually are not registered.
Because some of the letters have gone to people who already are registered, Adams said it confuses voters.
“They mislead voters, who then drive unnecessary call volume to our overworked election officials around the state,” Adams said. “In fact, this group has even sent out voter registration materials with the wrong return-envelope addresses. Whether this organization is nefarious, or just recklessly incompetent, Kentuckians should disregard any communication they receive from the Center for Voter Information.”
Later Tuesday, the voter group slammed both men.
“Today’s press release from Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams and Attorney General Daniel Cameron was a shameful attempt to disenfranchise Kentucky voters by discouraging them from registering to vote. During a dangerous pandemic when efforts to register voters have been curtailed, it is the responsibility of all elected officials to make it easier for people to vote, not harder. These statements from two of Kentucky’s top officials spread misinformation, make it less likely that every eligible Kentuckian will register to vote, and should be widely condemned,” said Tom Lopach, president and CEO of the Center for Voter Information.
“Nearly one million people in Kentucky who are eligible to vote are not yet registered. The non-partisan and non-profit Center for Voter Information (CVI) is mailing nearly 500,000 voter registration applications to people in Kentucky in September, primarily to people of color, young people and unmarried women, all of whom historically have been under-represented in our democracy. With COVID-19 impacting elections, we have a responsibility to do all we can to safely increase voter turnout and engagement during this uncertain time. It is vital to keep voters safe and to bring democracy to eligible voters’ doorsteps. Mail-based voter registration is reliable, safe and effective, and we are ensuring voters have the tools necessary to make their voices heard,” Lopach continued.
“Voter registration is hard work, since no state provides a list of eligible citizens who are not registered to vote. It’s unfortunately up to non-profit groups like CVI to find them.
“CVI and its partner group have helped more than 5 million people register to vote in our history, including 1 million people this election cycle alone. This process is working, and state election officials should never dissuade eligible voters from registering. CVI’s mailers tell voters to disregard the mailing if they have already registered to vote or are not eligible. And we always provide the state’s election website link, so voters can quickly check their voter status. We hope that in the future Kentucky’s elected officials will join us in helping to register eligible voters, rather than continue standing in the way,” Lopach concluded.
In the text-message scam, voters have received texts from a 502 area code saying they are not registered to vote and directing them to a fake website, ky.reg.com.
Anyone who receives the text should not go to the website. Scammers may use the fake website to steal an individual’s personal and financial information, Adams and Cameron warned.
Adams and Cameron urge Kentuckians to follow these prevention tips:
- Use govoteky.com, a state sponsored website, to register to vote and apply for an absentee ballot.
- If you receive an email or text message from an unverified source, do not click the link.
- Do not provide your personal or financial information to unknown callers or text message senders.