ICYMI: Sacramento Bee Editorial Board: "DMV audit detailed Motor Voter screw-ups. Why did Newsom try to bury it?"

AUGUST 13, 2019  

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office decided to release a long-awaited audit of the Department of Motor Vehicles’ Motor Voter program last Friday. Of course, the Friday dump doesn’t work so well for big, ongoing sagas with no end in sight. That’s pretty much what we’re talking about when we talk about anything related to the DMV, and it’s been doubly true of the Motor Voter program.

Among the deliciously disastrous details unveiled in the audit:

  • The Motor Voter program registered six people who were not eligible to vote, and they voted.
  • The program resulted in the creation of 84,000 duplicate voter records and over 171,000 errors in recording a voter’s political party registration.
  • Californians who are already registered to vote find the whole thing confusing and unsatisfactory.

… State officials’ apparent efforts to obscure the unflattering news lend credibility to the program’s critics. This is disturbing behavior from a new administration. These errors occurred before Newsom took office, so his staff has every reason to expose the facts and fix the problems without playing games.

In truth, state officials probably moved too fast in adopting the Motor Voter program, foisting an extra set of responsibilities onto an ill-prepared DMV. Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who rushed ahead despite warnings from state elections officials, deserves most of the blame for the debacle.

You can read the entire op-Ed as published in the Sacramento Bee here.