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Brown urges Warren to pay state for mailing costs

August 10, 2012
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BOSTON—U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is calling on Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren to reimburse Massachusetts for the cost of mailing voter registration letters to welfare recipients.

In a statement released Friday, Brown alleged the letters were sent to nearly half a million welfare recipients, as part of a court settlement, in an effort to "aid" Warren's Senate campaign. He urged the Democrat to pay back the nearly $276,000 Massachusetts spent on mailing the forms.

Brown, in his statement, called the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance's decision to mail the letters "an unprecedented voter registration drive at the behest of Elizabeth Warren's daughter and the organization she represents," referring to Amelia Warren Tyagi, who sits on the board of the New York-based think tank Demos, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Similar lawsuits have been filed in other states.

Warren's campaign called Brown's request a "ridiculous political stunt," saying the voter registration letters were sent out to help enforce the bipartisan 1993 National Voter Registration Act.

"It's not about Scott Brown. It's not about Elizabeth Warren. And it's certainly not about anyone's daughter," Warren's campaign manager, Mindy Myers, said in a statement.

The lawsuit argued that Massachusetts was failing to comply with a federal law requiring people to have the opportunity to register to vote when they sign up for public assistance.

According to The Boston Globe, Massachusetts is the only state involved in the lawsuit that has agreed to mail out voter registration letters, as others have agreed to upgrade computer systems or better train welfare officials.

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