Voter problems in Adams County

Another piece of mail offering a person an easy way to register to vote. / Photo by: Chad Douglas

Voting numbers were pretty high all around the country this week's historic election.

In Adams County, about 70 percent of registered voters came out to the polls.

But a few of them ran into some problems.

Lyssa Kalinowski turned 18 at the end of July. Ever since then she's been exciting about voting for the first time.

"I kept talking to my parents about it, and they were like alright Lyssa, shut up," says Lyssa Kalinowski.

But when she went to her polling place on election day,

"They told me I wasn't allowed to vote because I wasn't registered," says Kalinowski.

This was a complete shock to Kalinowski.

"I went outside and cried," says Kalinowski.

Lyssa thought she had registered months ago. She got something in the mail that she filled out and sent back in. A few weeks ago, she got this piece of mail that she says told her she was registered, and they looked forward to seeing her on election day. So she and her parents went to see the county clerk, and they were told Lyssa's not the first person this has happened to in Adams County. I talked to county clerk Georgia Volm about Lyssa's case. She told me her office saw hundreds of these papers in the last three to four months.

Are these papers legitimate?

"We have registered people off of these. They have the information we need according to state statute," says Volm.

Volm tells me she doesn't think this is a scam or voter fraud. What it is is some organization out of Boston got a list of names, from what she can tell, all women, many of them first time voters. The mailing was sent out, and sent back to the Board of Elections in Springfield. That office then had to figure out which county clerk to forward the application onto.

"You can imagine the amount of work that goes on at the board of elections. There were some lost, some not received. Some were sent to the wrong counties," says Volm.

Other were sent to the right place, but too late to actually register to vote.

"I think the real lesson to be learned here is anytime a person registers to vote, if you don't get a voter registration card from your county clerk within 10 to 15 business days, give your county clerk a call," says Volm.

As for Lyssa Kalinowski, a hard, disappointing lesson was learned. She is now officially registered through the county clerk's office. She's already looking forward to the next election when she can vote for the first time.

One concern Lyssa has though is where her application ended up.

She says she put some pretty important information on there, and is now worried about identity theft.