Complaints about so-called “motor voter” registration (dating back to the passage of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993) have largely fallen on deaf ears. After all, why not give everyone the chance to vote, right? California has been taking that concept to a new level, however. The DMV there has now issued yet another round of retractions after discovering that an additional roughly 1,500 residents were registered to vote despite being “ineligible.” And in the vast majority of these cases, you already know what that means. They’re registering non-citizens. (Sacramento Bee)
An internal audit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles released Monday shows about 1,500 customers may have been improperly registered to vote.
“Approximately 1,500 customers may have been registered to vote in error,” the DMV wrote in a letter Monday to the Secretary of State’s Office. “This error has been corrected and is separate from the processing error we notified you about in writing on September 5.” Non-citizens are among the affected customers, according to Jessica Gonzalez, a DMV spokeswoman…
The DMV said none of the processing errors occurred through the fault of the customer. None of the affected customers are undocumented immigrants.
1,500? That sounds like a lot of non-citizens to register, doesn’t it? Don’t be silly. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the 23,000 erroneous voter registrations we learned about in September. Granted, not every one of them is a non-citizen. Some could have been felons who are ineligible to vote and a few drivers under the age of 18. But for the most part, it appears to be non-citizens and the numbers are now in the tens of thousands.
But that doesn’t mean that every one of them is actually going to vote, right? That’s a fair point also, but assuming any of them wish to do so, who is going to catch them? It’s hard enough to track down fraudulent voters as it is, but when they’ve been “legitimately” registered and certified through the DMV it’s probably impossible for the most part.
Even California’s Secretary of State issued a statement saying that he remains “deeply frustrated and disappointed” in the DMV’s inability to carry out their responsibility in this fashion. But is this entirely the DMV’s fault? Handling voter registration is outside their original, core mission. Regulating the activities of motorists is entirely unrelated, and DMV offices around the nation have been demonstrating this for a quarter of a century now. Besides, California (as with the rest of the states) already had a governmental body responsible for voter registration. If you thought they weren’t doing a good enough job shouldn’t you have taken it up with them?
California has a number of tight House races shaping up for next month. Some of them may come down to a matter of a couple thousand or even hundreds of votes. It will be interesting to see if the public is ever enlightened as to how many people voted in those races who shouldn’t have been registered.