Elections Officials to Investigate Whether California DMV Voter Registration Errors Changed Outcome of Races

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Mailed in ballots sit in US Postal Service bins inside the office of the Stanislaus County Clerk on November 6, 2018 in Modesto. (Credit: Alex Edelman/Getty Images)

Mailed in ballots sit in US Postal Service bins inside the office of the Stanislaus County Clerk on November 6, 2018 in Modesto. (Credit: Alex Edelman/Getty Images)

Faced with evidence that some voter registration forms weren’t properly filed by California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, state officials will now investigate whether any votes were wrongly rejected and whether the final results in any state or local races should be reconsidered.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla and leaders of the agency that oversees the DMV agreed on Monday to settle a federal lawsuit brought by advocacy groups including the League of Women Voters of California and the American Civil Liberties Union. The settlement, in part, states that Padilla’s office will “take steps to ensure that every vote is counted” if ballots were rejected and will provide “guidance to elections officials in the relevant jurisdiction(s) on how to count the affected ballots and, if appropriate, re-certify election results.”

On Dec. 14, DMV officials revealed that staff members had not transmitted voter registration files for 589 people whose applications or updated applications were filled out before the close of registration for the Nov. 6 statewide election. At the time, state officials could not confirm whether any of those voters had been turned away on election day, or if any had cast last-minute provisional ballots that were rejected in the final tally.

Monday’s settlement raises the possibility that a full investigation of the delayed voter registration documents could reveal races where the outcome might have changed had those voters been allowed to participate. State officials now have 60 days to complete an investigation into the identity of those voters and why DMV staff members failed to transmit the files in a timely fashion.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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