Consumer Alert: Voter Registration and ID Theft

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September 08, 2006 LITTLE ROCK The Attorney General warned Arkansans today of a potential identity-theft scheme operating under the guise of promoting voter registration. The Arkansas Secretary of States Office has received a report of an elderly Little Rock woman who was asked to provide unnecessary personal information by someone who came to her door claiming that he could help register her to vote.In the Little Rock case, the woman was asked to provide her full Social Security Number and information about her health-insurance coverage. While citizens signing up to vote must include an ID number on their application, that number is usually from an Arkansas Drivers License. If a Social Security Number is used, only the last four digits are required. Health-insurance information is never required.Voter registration for the 2006 General Election remains open through October 9th. Registration forms can be downloaded from the Secretary of States Web site at www.sos.arkansas.gov, by calling that offices Voter Services Division at 1-800-247-3312, or by contacting any county clerks office. Registration drives are being coordinated by community groups and service organizations and can also be found at most state or county fairs.Identity thieves often look to current events in their attempts to deceive potential victims. The common arrival of unannounced visitors during a campaign season can provide such an opportunity. If someone comes to your door offering to help you register to vote, ask to fill out the paperwork yourself and give only the information asked for on the state-issued registration form. If you have any concerns about the legitimacy of the offer, you can always decline and register later through the offices or groups mentioned above.Beebe also reminded Arkansans that they should never have to pay while registering to vote. In 2004, a company charged Arkansans $9.95 to help with their registrations. While not a scam, the company was offering a service easily accessible for free.For information on other consumer matters, contact the Public Protection Division of the Attorney Generals Office at Suite 200, 323 Center Street, Little Rock, AR 72201. The office can be reached by calling 682-2341 (Little Rock) or 1-800-482-8982. Spanish-speaking consumers can also call (501) 683-3130. TDD service is available for the hearing impaired at 682-6073.