After they registered more than 100 people to vote, fraternity says elections office lost registrations

Photo illustration

Before the voter registration deadline, Alpha Phi Alpha said it registered 104 Kansas State students and community members to vote in Riley County, but none of those students are able to vote, according to a statement released by the fraternity.

The registration drive, called “A Voteless People is a Hopeless People,” ran from Sept. 24 to Sept. 27 and again from Oct.1 to Oct. 4. It was part of a national movement to register voters.

The statement signed by fraternity president, Dariyan Springfield, junior in animal sciences and industry, said the forms from the drive were turned into the Riley County Election Office by Oct. 8, which was eight days before the registration deadline.

In the same statement, released by chapter adviser Brandon Clark on his personal Facebook account, the fraternity said they were alerted that the registrations had not gone through when a student informed them that he never received a voter registration card in the mail.

When the student contacted the election office, he was informed he was not registered to vote in the general election. As it turns out, none of the 104 people who registered at the Alpha Phi Alpha tabling events were actually registered to vote.

The statement said the fraternity sent Kemondre Taylor, drive coordinator and junior in sociology, to the Riley County Election Office on Nov. 5.

“Upon arriving at the office, the voter registration coordinator walked in and saw that many of the staff members in the office were already looking around in an effort to find the missing voter registration forms,” the statement said. “A senior elections analyst stated that she did remember that the voter registration coordinator had [come] in and dropped off the registration forms and she also remembered how both of them went through the forms together and looked for any forms that may have had errors in them.”

The election analyst, who Taylor identified as Anita Cook, has since flip-flopped, Clark said. Now Taylor said she is agreeing with the rest of the election office in saying the registration forms never arrived.

Rich Vargo, Riley County clerk, said via phone call that this “statement is false” and that the Riley County Elections Office never received registration forms from the Alpha Phi Alpha drive.

The statement said the K-State chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha will investigate the matter and promised updates as they are available.

“We still encourage everyone who registered at our table to show up to the polls on [Nov. 6] to cast your vote,” the statement read.

Clark said the election office has changed their story multiple times, saying they had lost the ballots and now, saying the ballots were never received. Clark said he is insulted anyone would insinuate the fault of the missing registrations falls onto the fraternity.

Most of the students who registered to vote with Alpha Phi Alpha were multicultural students who decided to register because they trusted the people putting on the drive, Clark said.

“If you lost them or misplaced them, just say that,” Clark said. “Don’t say we just didn’t submit them. If the mistake was on us, we’d go off to the side and be quiet. We are not going to be quiet about this. You can’t just dismiss us.”

The statement released by Alpha Phi Alpha on Nov. 5
My name is Kaylie McLaughlin and I'm the ex-managing editor and audience engagement manager of the Collegian. Previously, I've been the editor-in-chief and the news editor. In the past, I have also contributed to the Royal Purple Yearbook and KKSU-TV. Off-campus, you can find my bylines in the Wichita Eagle, the Shawnee Mission Post and KSNT News. I grew up just outside of Kansas City in Shawnee, Kansas. I’m a senior in digital journalism with a minor in French and a secondary focus in international and area studies. As a third-generation K-Stater, I bleed purple and my goal is to serve the Wildcat community with accurate coverage.