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Dead cat recruited to register to vote in Seminole County

Washington-based group sends 'misleading' notices across state

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SANFORD, Fla. – In a year full of controversial election campaign moments, a dead Seminole County cat may have just topped them all.

Gracey Duncan, a pet not a voter, received what appeared to be an official government notice to register to vote in Seminole County this week.

The cat’s owner who asked not to be identified, wants the story told because of her concern that the system may be tainted by voters that don’t exist.

The mailing, dated March 21, 2016, reads in part,  “…according to our records you live in Seminole County and are not currently registered to vote.”

In a text to News 6 the owner writes:

“Gracey has been gone since 2014, as a concerned citizen I felt it was my responsibility to Michael Ertel (Seminole County Elections supervisor). I would like to know how this group received  her (Gracey’s)  information.”

Ertel, who met with News 6 Thursday, said he is concerned about what he called  “misleading” documents arriving in mail across Florida.

“There are no red flags," Ertel said,” I think it’s fair enough to say it's misleading voters and I think it’s causing voters to have a lack of faith in the process.

Ertel said the letter has all the markings of a legitimate letter including the words "official government document enclosed." 

Ertel said the mailings are not limited to Seminole County.

He said he has spoken with other supervisors of elections throughout the state” and that it appears The Washington Voter Participation Center, is sending out hundreds of thousands of mailings to addresses throughout the state of Florida.

“This is not from us it’s from an external entity.”

Ertel has set up a new website so Seminole County voters can compare documents they have received to documents on the site: www.OfficialElectionMail.org leads voters to the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections website and on www.VoteSeminole.org a link will display recent and upcoming mailings from the Seminole County Elections Office.