There are more registered voters in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco—a lot more—than the Census says is possible, and Judicial Watch wants officials to do something about it.
In a notice-of-violation letter sent to state officials and 11 counties in California, the government watchdog group said they are not in compliance with the National Voter Registration Act and the Help America Vote Act, which requires states to take "reasonable steps to maintain accurate voting rolls." In the letter, it is noted that public records indicate the following counties have more registered voters than voting-age citizens:
- San Diego (138%)
- San Francisco (114%)
- Los Angeles (112%)
- San Mateo (111%)
- Solano (111%)
- Yolo (110%)
- Santa Cruz (109%)
- Monterey (104%)
- Imperial (102%)
- Lassen (102%)
- Stanislaus (102%)
The Judicial Watch letter states:
In our experience, these kinds of registration rates indicate a failure to comply with the voter list maintenance requirements of the NVRA. The failure to maintain accurate, up-to-date voter registration lists creates the risk that the 2018 federal elections will lack the integrity required by federal law and by the expectations of California citizens, and will therefore undermine public confidence in the electoral process.
The letter also claims Judicial Watch is representing 21 individual California voters who are prepared to sue under the NVRA to ensure the voter rolls are cleaned up. It points to a previous settlement with the State of Ohio over similar voter fraud concerns. The letter states:
In order to avoid litigation, we may seek certain reasonable assurances that you will affirmatively undertake the steps outlined, up to and including the execution of a settlement agreement. You may wish to consult Judicial Watch’s recent settlement agreement with the State of Ohio for examples of certain activities which tend to show compliance with NVRA Section 8.
Judicial Watch also requested specific public information be provided. This includes:
- Copies of the most recent voter registration database from each California county and city mentioned in this letter, including fields indicating name, date of birth, home address, most recent voter activity, and active or inactive status.
- Copies of all email or other communications internal to the office of the California Secretary of State, including any of its divisions, bureaus, offices, third party agents, or contractors, (hereinafter, collectively “Secretary’s Office”) relating to the maintenance of accurate and current voter rolls.
- Copies of all email or other communications between the Secretary’s Office and all California County voter registration officials concerning:
- Instructions to the counties concerning their general list maintenance practices and obligations;
- Instructions to the counties for the removal of specific noncitizens and deceased, relocated, or convicted persons identified by the Secretary’s Office; and
- Notices to the counties concerning any failure to comply with their voter list maintenance obligations under California’s program.
- Copies of all email or other communications between the Secretary’s Office and the California State Department of Health, the California State Department of Corrections, the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and the California State Judiciary concerning obtaining information about deceased, relocated, convicted, or noncitizen registered voters for the purpose of updating California’s voter registration lists.
- Copies of all email or other communications between the Secretary’s Office and the U.S. Attorney(s) for California, the U.S. District Court for California, the U.S. Social Security Administration, the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concerning the National Change of Address database, the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements database, or any other means of obtaining information about deceased, relocated, convicted, or noncitizen registered voters for the purpose of updating California’s voter registration lists.
- Copies of all email or other communications between the Secretary’s Office and the Interstate Voter Registration Cross-Check Program, the Electronic Registration Information Center, the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Authorities, and any other U.S. State concerning obtaining information about deceased or relocated registered voters for the purpose of updating California’s voter registration lists.
Judicial Watch first launched its effort to force individual states to clean up their voter registration rolls in April by contacting election officials in 11 states. It has since followed through on a threat to sue one county in Maryland. The organization's president said the problem is much worse in California, where the vote tallies last November singlehandedly swung the popular vote toward former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in spite of President Donald Trump's big win in the Electoral College.
"California’s voting rolls are an absolute mess that undermines the very idea of clean elections," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. "It is urgent that California take reasonable steps to clean up its rolls. We will sue if state officials fail to act."