RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A voter reported the disturbing house call yesterday. Someone claiming to be from the Registrar's Office said he would get him registered to vote on Tuesday if he gave them his personal information. It has the markings of an identity theft scheme.
Voter fraud is not uncommon, but usually it's people who are not qualified to vote. Like the Louisa woman who pled guilty to felony voter fraud and forging a public document. Bonnie Nicholson, a convicted felon, said she quote "Wanted Obama in the White House for a change."
Richmond's top prosecutor says this is different.
"They are fraudulently representing themselves to be associated with the Registrar's Office and then they're taking identifying information including date of birth, social security number and there's the potential for identity fraud," said Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Herring.
Assume the worst and keep identifying information to yourself, if you don't see an official I.D. badge and papers from the city registrar. More importantly...
"My office is not currently conducting any such drive. If it was my office would show the appropriate identification and more over, we would be using a voter registration form," said Kirk Showalter, City of Richmond General Registrar.
An official worker would also give the person registering to vote a receipt.
"That's the purpose of the voter registration application and the receipt. I do not know of any local legitimate drive who are taking information on a clip board and promising that the voter will later be registered. The voter has to sign the application in order to be registered," Showalter said.
An official worker would give the individual an application to fill out themselves, instead of recording their personal data.
"Timing that is right around an election cycle making it opportune for people who are out to steal information. I encourage people to be extra vigilant and extra careful," Herring said.
If you don't see official identification from the Registrar's Office, assume the worst, and keep identifying information to yourself. Voter registration fraud is a serious offense that gets investigated and often prosecuted. If the perpetrators don't stop after today's warning they may be prosecuted. Use common sense if somebody shows up at your door Herring says don't be taken in, report it.