9 Investigates

9 Investigates: Third-party voter registration organizations

CENTRAL FLORIDA — 9 Investigates a woman who was denied her vote after someone turned in a voter registration change for her in a different county.
Stacy Harris said she had no idea her affiliation was changed from Republican to "no party" affiliation. 9 Investigates discovered a change was turned in by a third-party voter-registration organization registered with the state.
"It's frustrating because I know that I would not change to 'no party' affiliation," Harris said.
Harris said the form turned over by a third party had her signature, but it's not something she would have signed if she knew it would change the affiliation she'd registered with for two decades.
Michelle Levy with the League of Women Voters collects those types of forms for voters. She said her group is registered with the state for permission to do that.
9 Investigates learned there are about 1,000 organizations who can help people register to vote. Some have political ties, including Feel the Bern, the University of Central Florida's Democrats, and the Republican Federated Women of the Villages.
"You know that if it's the Republican or Democratic organization, and if they're asking you to vote, they're probably pushing their party," Levy said.
The League of Women Voters is nonpartisan and its internal rules require anyone handing out voter registrations to go through training and pass a test.
"We really think it should be automatic. That anybody who is a third-party registrant get some training," Levy said.  
All that is required to become a third-party voter registration organization is a three-page document. The only entity that polices these groups and individuals is the Florida Division of Elections in Tallahassee.
If a voter feels their voter registration was illegally altered, they can file a report with the FDE by calling 850-245-6200. 
9 Investigates has asked the FDE for a complaint list against third-party organizations, but has yet to be provided one.

To see a list of active third-party voter-registration organizations, click here.