DC Accidentally Tells Nearly 6,000 Voters They're Not Registered; Lists Birth Dates as 1800

A mailer was mistakenly sent to about 5,700 people who are longtime voters in the District

Just weeks away from the presidential election, thousands of D.C. residents who have voted for decades received a note in the mail telling them they are not registered.

Pat and Peggy Fleming have lived in Northwest D.C. for 45 years. A postcard from the D.C. Board of Elections (BOE) recently arrived that reads: "We hear you're new in town... REGISTER TO VOTE!"

"I've been registered to vote here and I've voted in every election during that time. So, clearly this is not right," Pat Fleming said.

The card goes on to say that Peggy is not registered to vote and lists her birth date as Dec. 31, 1800.

Another longtime resident and voter, Mike Feinsilber, said his wife received the same card.

When News4 asked him about the 1800 birth date, Feinsilber joked, "Yes, she's getting on in years."

But it was no joke to D.C. council member David Grosso, who was frustrated that about 5,700 voters erroneously received the postcard, including one voter he knows.

"She has voted ... in every election since 1968. It's a point of pride for her," Grosso said. "The crazy thing about these cards is it says, 'Welcome to the District of Columbia.' I mean, she completely freaked out."

"No one's been removed from the voter roll. That's the first thing. There's no one being removed. This is not an effort to clean up the voter roll," said Alice Miller, executive director of the BOE.

Miller said the mailing list error was due to a computer mistake, which combined about 70,000 new D.C. residents with residents who have voted in D.C. before 1975. Prior to 1975, birth dates weren't shown and the year 1800 was a placeholder, Miller said.

A statement on the board's website reads in part, "Of the 74,000 individuals contacted, approximately 5,700 were individuals with default birthdates. These individuals registered many years ago, at a time when registration did not require voters to provide their dates of birth. Due to some confusion with the mailer, the Board will send a clarifying notification acknowledging voter registration status, and requesting updates to the voter’s profile."

Residents can visit this link to confirm or check their voter registration status.

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