SACRAMENTO – Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) issued the following statement after news media reported the release of an audit finding that the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) produced almost 84,000 duplicate voter registrations and an even higher number of erroneous party registrations due to the state’s automatic ‘motor voter’ program.
Given todays’ troubling news, I call on Governor Gavin Newsom and Secretary of State Alex Padilla to immediately suspend the automatic ‘motor voter’ registration program. Suspending the program will allow the problems to be fixed and, just as importantly, allow DMV to focus on its other problems affecting customers.
Today’s revelations are the latest piece of evidence that automatic voter registration was flawed since its inception and has led to serious questions about the integrity of California’s election system.
I also ask legislative leadership to convene the Joint Legislative Audit Committee no later than August 15th to reconsider the request from Assemblymembers Rudy Salas and Jim Patterson for an independent and non-partisan audit of the DMV. This will give Senate Democrats a third chance to do the right thing and move forward with a much-needed independent audit.
“Finally, I look forward to my legislative colleagues considering my Senate Bill 57 to make voter registration an opt-in process to help protect the integrity of California’s voter rolls.”
In May 2018, the Los Angeles Times reported that a software error affected 77,000 voter registrations.
In September 2018, the Sacramento Bee reported that the DMV transmitted 23,000 erroneous voter registrations.
In October 2018, the Los Angeles Times reported that the embattled state agency mistakenly registered another 1,500 ineligible residents, including non-citizens.
Also, in October 2018, the Associated Press reported that California’s Secretary of State admitted that he was not able to confirm whether or not non-citizens voted in the June 2018 Primary Election.
Senator Patricia Bates represents the 36th Senate District in the California Legislature, which covers South Orange County, North San Diego County, and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.