Virginia won't further probe charges of illegal voter registration

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Local,Virginia,Steve Contorno

Virginia election officials decided Monday to not take action against a D.C. group that sent voter registration cards to dead people, children and pets and prompted calls for an investigation from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The Virginia Board of Elections said it was already working with the Voter Participation Center to improve the group's registration practices so ineligible voters would not be targeted in the future.

Romney's campaign recently called for an investigation of the group, which targeted minorities and young voters when it sent out 200,000 registration cards. The campaign said it was satisfied with the board's decision.

"The Voter Participation Center has already admitted its misconduct, and we are glad that the State Board of Elections quickly convened a meeting on the issue," said Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg. "Even in the absence of a formal investigation, we are heartened that the group is being forced to stop mailing misleading, [partially completed] voter registration forms in Virginia."

The Voter Participation Center's effort led to about 15,000 legal registrations, though the group admitted that many ineligible voters also inadvertently received cards. State election officials said they received hundreds of complaints about the group's latest mailing.

"Any time these groups do a mass mailing we get complaints," said Justin Riemer, spokesman for the State Board of Elections. "We've worked [with VPC] in the past and we're going to continue to work with the organization."

The group has another blast of voter registration cards it will send out in late August or early September, Riemer added.

scontorno@washingtonexaminer.com

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