Senate Democrats Refuse to Clean Up Voter Rolls

Deny Senator Nielsen’s Proposal to Deliver Ballots Only to Active Voters
Tuesday, June 2, 2020

To ensure trust in California’s statewide all vote-by-mail system planned by Governor Gavin Newsom and the Democrat-controlled Legislature for the November 2020 election, Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama) introduced an amendment to improve ballot security in Assembly Bill 860. Senator Nielsen proposed to require local elections officials to send ballots only to active voters.

“The right to vote is a sacred privilege, the integrity of which must be protected,” said Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama). “If the Democrats are intent on expanding vote-by-mail to all voters, we must also enact protections so the possibility of fraud is reduced by making sure that we only send ballots to voters who actually exist. We must ensure the integrity of our democracy.”

“While I disagree with the author’s argument that California needs a statewide vote-by-mail system due to COVID-19, we must do everything we can to safeguard every vote. By securing the delivery of the ballots, we better protect against fraud in our election system,” Senator Nielsen added.

Unmaintained voter rolls, automatic voter registration and AB 860’s cumbersome requirements are disastrous in a time when the public expects, and deserves, accurate and immediate results.

Specifically, AB 860 would: 1) Require county elections officials to mail a ballot to every registered voter; 2) Extend the timeframe by which VBM ballots must be received by the county elections official to the 20th day after Election Day, or two days before the elections official sends the Secretary of State the final results for presidential electors, whichever is later.

The DMV’s automatic voter registration program has been a disaster. Thousands of individuals who are not eligible to vote have been registered to vote at the DMV. Some people do not even know that they are automatically registered to vote. 

According to the Election Integrity Project California, Inc. (EIPCa), "...registrants who have not requested a vote by mail ballot will now be mailed a ballot, frustrating or confusing many of them. This situation will result in discarded ballots (which may then be illegally appropriated) and many more provisional ballots as these individuals may be unaware of the need to present the VBM for surrender in non-VCA (Voter Choice Act) counties."

“By sending ballots to inactive voters and voters who do not exist due to outdated voter files, the Legislature is raising the possibility that those ballots could be cast by people who are not eligible,” said Senator Nielsen.  

Assembly Bill 860 was passed along party lines by a vote of 4 to 1. It now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.

BACKGROUD: Since its launch, the DMV automatic voter registration program is riddled with problems. Below are a few news stories:

Hundreds of California voters are being registered with the wrong party. Is DMV to blame? by Bryan Anderson, The Sacramento Bee. December 12, 2019

“At least 600 Californians, including lifelong Republicans and Democrats, have had their voter registration unexpectedly changed, and several county elections officials are pinning much of the blame on the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.”

Audit finds problems with California ‘motor voter’ program by Kathleen Ronayne of The Associated Press. August 9, 2019

“DMV officials said one error may have prevented nearly 600 people from voting and another may have allowed about 1,500 people, perhaps including non-citizens, to incorrectly register to vote.”

Hackers attacked California DMV voter registration system marred by bugs, glitches by John Myers, Los Angeles Times. April 9, 2019

“Errors by DMV field office employees were later cited as the cause of some 23,000 registration errors.”

What’s behind all those DMV voter-registration snafus? ‘Motor voter’ may have launched with makeshift computer system by Laurel Rosenhall, CalMatters. October 15, 2018

“The DMV gave the public a series of piecemeal explanations as it acknowledged making more than 100,000 errors in recent months in registering Californians to vote.”