Dear Editor: My name is Linda Kessel, leader of Indivisible Madison. I write about the Sept. 15 article, “Voter registration texts from Democratic outreach group spark confusion.” While I deeply respect Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl, I’m surprised and disappointed that she sounded the alarm about voter registration text messages based on the complaints of three voters.
Indivisible Madison is a partner with Field Team 6 (FT6), sending text messages to re-register purged voters. We signed on because very few organizations are focusing on voter registration — the critical first step to vote.
At fieldteam6.org, you can confirm this is a legitimate organization with a long list of partners nationwide, including many local Indivisibles. And you can go to Voterizer.org, FT6’s voter registration portal. Though it’s not the familiar myvote.wi.org, FT6 is not the only organization that sends people to an alternative website for voter action. That’s how they see if the campaign is working.
FT6 is admittedly partisan. Wisconsin state law allows partisan organizations to engage in voter registration education. Partisan does not mean distrustful.
FT6 lists for Wisconsin and 11 more battleground states may not be perfect, but 23,000 voter registrations so far tell us the lists are reasonably accurate. Voter information comes from public records; if asked, text bankers provide that information.
FT6 text messages do not accuse the voter of not being registered. They say “it looks like Wisconsin has taken someone by your name off the voter rolls.” If FT6 reaches a voter in error, they contend it’s better for people to check their registration than to not be registered at all.
While it’s possible some groups spread misinformation via texts, Field Team 6 is not one of them. I wish the city clerk had done her due diligence to find that out before issuing such an incendiary warning.
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