OPINION | California Doesn’t Want to Know Its Non-Citizen Voting Stats

Mike O’Neill | Attorney, Landmark Legal Foundation

Thousands of ineligible individuals may have registered to vote in California and the state has no way of confirming whether these individuals are citizens of the United States.

California’s automatic voter registration, along with its lax rules on proving citizenship, has created an environment in which thousands of ineligible non-citizens are most certainly on the voter rolls.

California will not fix this problem. It will not compare names of non-citizens who have received driver’s licenses to names on voter rolls. It won’t release names of non-citizens to county registrars so those officials can check their voter rolls.

It will not coordinate communication with DMV state voter officials and county registrars to ensure ineligible individuals are identified and removed. And it won’t make any effort to remove non-citizens from the voter rolls.

California doesn’t want to know whether non-citizens are on its voter rolls. The state is happy with chaos. Politicians in control of the state (along with their allies on the left) know the bigger the mess and the more ineligible people on the voter lists the more likely they are to be reelected. So they have put in place policies and practices where any person, regardless of eligibility can register to vote .

How have thousands of ineligible individuals gotten on the voter rolls? It’s simple.

In the spring, California implemented automatic voter registration for individuals who renew or apply for driver’s licenses. That means that individuals who register to vote at California DMV offices have their registrations electronically transmitted to the California Secretary of State, who, in turn, places the individuals on voter rolls. The registration process has become a joke.

Normally, when you register to vote, you have to affirm your eligibility. You have to swear, under oath and subject to penalty of law, that you are 18 years or older, a citizen of the United States and you have not be convicted of a felony. This affirmation is the only tool California uses to ensure eligibility. California doesn’t require registrants to show a birth certificate or passport.

Even the minor requirement of requiring an affirmation, however, has been abandoned.

Several weeks ago, the DMV admitted that, soon after the automatic registration program began, thousands of individuals who registered to vote at DMV locations failed to complete the necessary affidavit attesting to eligibility.

DMV officials, now tasked with registering individuals to vote, couldn’t even follow the simple rule requiring a registrant to affirm eligibility. The only official check against registration fraud has been removed and thousands of potentially ineligible individuals are now on California’s voter rolls.

It gets worse. The DMV also directs its employees to permit applicants to complete voter registrations even in instances where the applicant states he or she is not a citizen.

If you are not a citizen but appear at a DMV and indicate your desire to complete a voter registration application, California will allow you tocomplete that application. If you check a box stating you are not a citizen and tell the DMV official that you still want to register, you can register to vote.

Bottom line?  There are no effective controls in place in California to ensure accurate voter rolls. Thousands of ineligible individuals are poised to vote in the upcoming midterm elections and election officials in California couldn’t care less.

Landmark Legal Foundation has called upon the Voting Rights Section of the Department of Justice to initiate an investigation.  If California won’t keep its voter rolls clean, the federal government needs to step in.

Mike O’Neill is an attorney with Landmark Legal Foundation.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.


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