SOUTHWICK/WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Earlier this week vote-by-mail applications coming to your doors, but since then, viewers have been reaching out to Western Mass News with problems they've been experiencing.

One local woman Western Mass News spoke to said she received two forms, one for her and one for a previous resident. A local expert said its important to know what to do if this happens to you.

"It upset me because that is an open door for fraud," said Southwick resident Diana Larue.

Viewers have been contacting Western Mass News for help after experiencing some problems with the vote-by-mail application, the legislation passed in July to give voters the option to vote-by-mail or in-person in both the primary and general election due to COVID-19 concerns.

"I got an application to vote-by-mail, along with another application for the person who lived in my home. [It] as a couple of years ago, he moved, and I got an application in his name, as well," Larue explained.

After reaching out to us, Larue took her story to Facebook, and found, she was not alone.

"They received applications for the people, who lived in their home previously and no longer live there, and their names are still on the list of registered voters, and it’s up to the individual to take care of that," Larue said.

With many viewers concerned about voter fraud after receiving multiple applications or applications for other people, the town clerk for West Springfield told Western Mass News the application should just be looked at as a tool to register early.

"The applications themselves don’t represent a ballot, and it would be an active voter fraud to sign it for someone else and return it under pretenses, it’s a serious crime," said West Springfield's Town Clerk Otto Frizzell.

He told Western Mass News incorrect applications come when people don't update their voter registration after they move, but if you sign one that's not yours, it's easy for officials to cross-check information, and you could be charged with a crime.

"They show up to vote in-person, and they’re already flagged as voted early, that would be an immediate red flag," he said. "We would look back, here is the card whose signature is this, where was it mailed to and the net closes pretty quickly at that point."

He also said if people do try to commit voter fraud and sign off on an application for someone else, it doesn't mean they'll receive a ballot.

"The clerk's offices are going to be getting those cards and make sure that they’re properly signed and everything is correct, as far as we know, before releasing ballots to people," Frizzell explained.

Meanwhile, Larue said she returned the former resident's application to her town office, but said the experience is enough for her to not consider voting by mail.

"I don’t care if it’s raining snowing or whatever in November, I’m going to be there in-person to cast my ballot," Larue explained.

Frizzell also said if you've received an incorrect application or yours still been received in the mail, to reach out to your local office.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.