Judicial Watch Warns California to Clean Voter Registration Lists or Face Federal Lawsuit
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced it sent a notice-of-violation letterto the state of California and 11 of its counties threatening to sue in federal court if it does not clean its voter registration lists as mandated by the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Both the NVRA and the federal Help America Vote Act require states to take reasonable steps to maintain accurate voting rolls. The August 1 letter was sent on behalf of several Judicial Watch California supporters and the Election Integrity Project California, Inc.
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.”
Under Section 8 of the NVRA, states are required to make a reasonable effort to remove the names of ineligible voters from official lists due to “the death of the registrant” or “a change in the residence of the registrant,” and requires states to ensure noncitizens are not registered to vote.
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.
Judicial Watch referred California officials to a settlement agreement it reached with the State of Ohio in which Ohio agreed to update and maintain its voter registration lists and to keep a current voter registration list online and available for public access.
“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.”
In April, Judicial Watch sent notice-of-violation letters threatening to sue 11 states having counties in which the number of registered voters exceeds the number of voting-age citizens. The states are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee.
On July 18, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against Montgomery County and the Maryland State Boards of Elections under the NVRA. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division (Judicial Watch vs. Linda H. Lamone, et al. (No. 1:17-cv-02006)).
Election Integrity Project California, Inc. is a registered non-profit corporation that seeks to preserve a government of, by, and for the people. To that end, Election Integrity Project California empowers citizen volunteers through education and training to protect the integrity of the electoral process in California.
The director of Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity Project is senior attorney Robert Popper, who was formerly deputy chief of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.