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Voter Application For Dead Pet Sparks Seminole Co. Elections Supervisor To Launch Website


The Seminole County Supervisor of Elections has launched a new website to help residents tell the difference between mailings that are really from his office and mailings from outside political groups that just look official.

Elections supervisor Mike Ertel said he made the move after learning a county resident was mailed a voter registration application for a deceased pet.

Ertel said many voters in Seminole County are hearing from out-of-state special interest groups unaffiliated with his office or its website, voteseminole.org. And the most recent misguided mailer prompted Ertel to action.

"I received a tweet from a voter saying, 'Hey, Mike, I know this wasn’t from voteseminole.org, but I just wanted to let you know we received a voter registration application for my dead cat,'" said Ertel.

According to Ertel, the mailer came from a group called the Voter Participation Center in Washington, D.C.

“While some may chuckle at the thought of a dead cat being offered the opportunity to register to vote, this is a serious matter, as it causes many voters to believe our office would send this," said Ertel. "The mailer had the words ‘government document enclosed, do not discard’ on it.”

Ertel hopes the new website – officialelectionmail.org – will help avoid confusion. It will have pictures of recent and upcoming mailings from the Supervisor of Elections Office.

"Voters can look on that website and say, 'Here's [a picture of] the last piece that the Seminole County Elections Office sent, here's the next piece that the elections office is going to send,'" noted Ertel. "If what you got in the mail doesn't match one of those two pieces, chances are, it's not from our office."

Nicole came to Central Florida to attend Rollins College and started working for Orlando’s ABC News Radio affiliate shortly after graduation. She joined WMFE in 2010. As a field reporter, news anchor and radio show host in the City Beautiful, she has covered everything from local arts to national elections, from extraordinary hurricanes to historic space flights, from the people and procedures of Florida’s justice system to the changing face of the state’s economy.