UPDATE: ***CLARIFICATION and CORRECTION*** - The letter referenced below said the percentage may be up to 144%, and was referring to one specific county. Additionally new information and new data has come to light on this story and we will be writing a follow up piece to reflect more accurate information on this story. As part of our mission at IVN, we strive to provide accurate and honest information, regardless of the perspective. In this case, we admit our shortcomings and look forward publishing a more accurate follow up.
In a letter dated August 1, 2017 and sent to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Judicial Watch is demanding the state clean up its voter rolls.
In cooperation with the Election Integrity Project, Judicial Watch contends the state of California is in violation of Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) as they claim "eleven counties in California have more registered voters than citizen voting age population calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau's 2011-2015 American Community Survey."
The NVRA requires states to conduct reasonable list maintenance to maintain an accurate record of eligible voters for federal elections.
The Judicial Watch letter serves as notice that if Alex Padilla does not take specific actions to correct the alleged violations of section 8 within 90 days, a lawsuit will be brought. He has 14 days to respond.
The letter reads, "As the top election official in California, it is your responsibility under federal law to coordinate California’s statewide effort to conduct a program that reasonably ensures the lists of eligible voters are accurate."
The list of cities Judicial Watch claims has more registered voters than population are as follows:
- 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%)
- Yolo (110%)
According to the letter, the three largest cities in the State of California, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco also have the highest percentages.
In its letter Judicial Watch states, "Our own research shows that the situation in these counties is, if anything, worse than the foregoing data suggest. For example, we contacted Los Angeles County directly this past June. At that time, 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."
Secretary of State Padilla doesn't appear interested in the voter roll concerns raised. On August 3, he penned an op-ed that appeared in the Sacramento Bee. Padilla wrote, "In California, we are creating a more-inclusive democracy. We’ve passed legislation to create automatic voter registration for eligible citizens who visit the DMV...as Americans, we have a responsibility to increase voter participation, not stifle it. Our future as a democracy requires it."
The Election Integrity Project is a California-based volunteer organization that monitors voting irregularities.