Johnson County Auditor’s Office warns about misleading information on voting

Iowa absentee ballot request form.

The Johnson County Auditor’s Office warned on Tuesday that incorrect information about voting is being circulated.

“Our office has received reports that voters have received absentee ballot requests which have incorrect return addresses,” the auditor’s office said in an email. “If you get an unsolicited absentee request by mail, make sure the return address is to the correct county auditor before mailing it in.”

The unsolicited absentee ballot requests were sent by the Center for Voter Information, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit that describes itself as “a non-partisan organization that works to provide even-handed and unbiased information about candidates and their positions on issues.” Its aims also promote increasing the number of young people, people of color and unmarried women who vote, as well as advocating for policies that benefit unmarried women.

Open Secrets, which tracks political spending, describes the center’s political orientation as “liberal.” The center does not disclose its donors, and because it is a 501(c)(4), it’s not required to.

In a separate email, the auditor’s office also warned that voters in other states are getting phone calls about absentee voting that might be part of a scam.

The reports from other states are that voters are getting phone calls that collect information, tell the person that they are now registered to vote, and promising to mail them an absentee ballot. The callers are misrepresenting themselves as being from the group TurboVote.

TurboVote is a legitimate service but they do not tell voters they can register by phone. TurboVote mails forms to voters, and directs them to sign the forms and send them to their county auditor – which is the correct procedure.

The auditor’s office asks that anyone who receives suspicious mail or phone calls regarding voting to contact its elections division.