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Republican Voter Registration Mailer Goes Out With Wrong Addresses

This post was updated on Aug. 11 with new information from the New Hampshire Attorney General's office.

The New Hampshire Republican Party sent mailers out last week with incorrect info on where to send absentee voter registration forms after what it says was a "printing mistake."

(Have you received this mailer, or any other political mail about voting procedures? We'd like to hear from you, because this will help us better understand the information voters are receiving about the election process. Please email us at elections@nhpr.org.) 

The GOP mailer bills itself as an “official absentee voter registration packet request” and tells recipients that “registering to vote absentee is as easy as 1-2-3.” The process is made difficult, however, by the fact that the mailers included incorrect return addresses for voters to send their absentee voter registration forms to.

New Hampshire voters who wish to register by absentee need to request a voter registration form from their town clerk. In theory, that’s what this mailer is helping voters to do.

However, it appears that while the first two lines of the street addresses for town clerks in each community are accurate in the mailers, they all list “Durham, NH” in the final line of the address for every voter, regardless of what town they live in. Voters who do not live in Durham would have their request to register by absentee denied. 

In a memo provided to NHPR on Monday, the New Hampshire Attorney General's office said it is working with Durham officials "to ensure the appropriate town or city clerks are notified if a voter has submitted this postcard to request an absentee voter registration package." The Secretary of State's office has not yet responded to questions about the matter from NHPR.

At least a few recipients of the mailers have interpreted the wrong addresses as an intentional move by the state Republican Party.

But in a written statement state GOP Chairman Steve Stepanek says it was an error caused by a “printing mistake” and that the party is working to send out new mailers with corrected info this week.

Any New Hampshire resident concerned about exposure to COVID-19 can register remotely and vote absentee in this year’s elections. To do either, voters should contact their town clerk to request the necessary forms. Contact info for town clerks compiled by the New Hampshire Secretary of State's office can be found here.

NHPR reporter Alex McOwen contributed to this report.

Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.
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