Voter registration push before Election Day

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Election officials are sending mailers encouraging people to register to vote and launching educational ads in what Secretary of State Scott Gessler says is the largest voter registration drive in state history.

Gessler said Tuesday the mailers will reach about 961,000 people who are likely eligible to vote but aren't registered. Television and radio advertisements in English and Spanish will also encourage people to register.

The $850,000 outreach effort will be paid for with federal funds.

Gessler, a Republican, has faced criticism recently for his sending letters to nearly 4,000 registered voters questioning their citizenship. He says he plans move forward with a rule to hold hearings to challenge voter registration when citizenship is in doubt. The search has yet to yield evidence of a case where an illegally registered voter cast a ballot.

Gessler's office announced last week that 16 people out of 3,903 who received letters voluntarily withdrew their registration. Another 482 verified that they were U.S. citizens and others did not respond.

He maintains he's committed to ensuring people's right to vote and that the voter registration drive had been in the works for months.

Democrats question Gessler's political motives in a battleground state.

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