California Warned to Clean Up Voter Rolls or Face Lawsuit

Last week, Judicial Watch sent a letter to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla pointing out some of the evidence that California's voter registration rolls were filled with errors and demanding that California election authorities improve the accuracy of the rolls, as required by the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and Help America Vote Act (HAVA), or face a lawsuit:

In the letter, Judicial Watch noted that public records obtained on the Election Assistance Commission’s 2016 Election Administration Voting Survey and through verbal accounts from various county agencies show 11 California counties have more registered voters than voting-age citizens: Imperial (102%), Lassen (102%), Los Angeles (112%), Monterey (104%), San Diego (138%), San Francisco (114%), San Mateo (111%), Santa Cruz (109%), Solano (111%), Stanislaus (102%), and Yolo (110%). 

In the letter, Judicial Watch noted that Los Angeles County officials “informed us that the total number of registered voters now stands at a number that is a whopping 144% of the total number of resident citizens of voting age.” . . . 

There is “strong circumstantial evidence that California municipalities are not conducting reasonable voter registration list maintenance as mandated under the NVRA,” Judicial Watch wrote in the notice letter sent to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. . . . 

“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.”

The letter also requested various records regarding voter registration list maintenance that states and localities are required by the NVRA to keep and make publicly available upon request.  Unfortunately, many localities have resisted turning over this information to organizations like Judicial Watch and Public Interest Legal Foundation that are doing the important work of holding election officials accountable for keeping their voting lists accurate, as required by law.  We trust that this letter is the first step of a much-needed movement to improve the accuracy of voter registration records in California.