If the Voter Integrity Project were a registered voter its vote could be successfully challenged on the basis that it uses forms of address not recognized as valid by the US Postal Service, which can cause mail to be returned to senders as “Undeliverable”. This anomaly serves to highlight the dangers to voter access posed by various gratuitously strict matching requirements that have been proposed for forms of identity verification for in-person voting.
The right wing Voter Integrity Project, which has been challenging voter registrations in NC, uses an address form that gives the illusion of a physical address but which is actually a Private Mail Box (PMB) at a Raleigh UPS Store.
One form of the address, used on the Voter Integrity Project website has just a building number and street name, 4441 Six Forks Rd, which actually represents the physical location of several businesses including the UPS Store, a drug store, a dry cleaner and, a tanning salon, but not the Voter Integrity Project.
In 2000 the US Postal Service adopted regulations intended to reduce fraud based on the abuse of private mail box services to give the illusion of physical addresses. Often such misleading addresses have used the word “Suite” or abbreviation “Ste” with a mail box number to imply an individual business location.
The street address of the UPS Store in question is 4441 Six Forks Rd, Ste 106. This properly identifies the UPS business and its location within a building containing other businesses. However, postal regulations have strict limitations on the placement and identification of private mail box numbers associated with such addresses.
A Private Mail Box (PMB) is obtained through a CMRA [Commercial Mail Receiving Agency]. A PMB is a private mail drop that has most of the advantages of a P.O. Box, plus it can receive parcels from UPS, FedEx, etc.
New regulations require mail sent to a Private Mail Box to include "PMB" or "#" before the mailbox number, and prohibit writing the number as "Box 123" or "Suite 123". (The PMB should come before the street and number, on the line after the recipient's name.) Mail sent to any mail drop without the "PMB" or "#" may be returned by the Postal Service marked "Undeliverable: Missing PMB". The preferred address format for the CMRA customers consist of
RR 1 BOX 12
HERNDON VA 22071-2716 or:
10 MAIN ST STE 11
HERNDON VA 22071-2716
If the four-line address cannot be used, a three-line format is acceptable. The PMB and number must be included at the end of the street address line. Exception: When the CMRA's physical address contains a secondary address element (e.g., rural route box number, "suite," "#," or other term), the CMRA customer must use "PMB" in the three-line format. In this case, the following must be used:
10 MAIN ST STE 11 PMB 234
HERNDON VA 22071-2716 or:
RR 12 BOX 512 PMB 234
HERNDON VA 22071-2716
The CMRA customer must use the four-line format if the primary address of the CMRA contains more than 25 characters; the maximum number of characters allowed on the address line is 32. Characters include the numbers, letters and spaces in the address. Example, the above address of 10 MAIN ST STE 11 PMB 234 has a total of 25 characters.
The form of address typically used by the Voter Integrity Project is
Voter Integrity Project
4441 Six Forks Rd
Raleigh NC 27609
This appears inconsistent with postal regulations in several ways. The mail box number 233 should appear on the second line before the street address. In that location the number should be used with "PMB" or "#". The suite number of the UPS Store, as a secondary address element, should be on the same line as the street name. If the mail box number is used on that line it should be used with "PMB" only. In any location it should not be integrated with the suite number by the use of a hyphen as shown.
A staff member at the UPS Store confirmed that mail is sorted for the physical location at a US Postal Service facility and that mail that does not properly identify a valid individual mail box number according to postal regulations may be returned to the sender by the US Postal Service.
While the Voter Integrity Project claims to be non-partisan it clearly leans right. It also ventured into the political earlier this year by forming a Voter Integrity PAC using the same private mail box and form of address. It closed recently before ever disbursing money to a candidate or for any campaign activity.
Many of the voter registration discrepancies claimed by the Voter Integrity Project turn out to have reasonable explanations. For example many Wake County voters who had voted and who claimed not to be citizens on jury duty records were US citizens who had moved out of state and correctly responded to jury duty requests that they were no longer citizens of Wake County. Most of the recent “list of dead voters” presented to the State Board of Elections had already been flagged by the Board for removal.
A common thread in these “discrepancies” is that different databases maintained for different purposes by different agencies on different cycles are being examined and compared through FOI requests by zealous volunteers with a flair for paranoia. After storming out of a recent Wake County Board of Elections hearing, leader Jay DeLancy posted on Twitter:
Jay DeLancy @VoteChecker
The Empire struck back! Pls pray for our personal safety.
A group that challenges valid voter registrations ought to dot its own I’s, cross its own T’s and properly identify its PMBs before dispensing righteous indignation.