Calling it unacceptable, Secretary of State Alex Padilla angrily criticized Department of Motor Vehicles officials Tuesday after they improperly registered about 1,500 people to vote in November’s election. Padilla did not mince words when it came to the error. “These mistakes from the DMV are totally unacceptable,” he told reporters. “It risks jeopardizing confidence in the electoral process which is why yesterday I called for an independent audit of the DMV’s technology and their practices…The DMV needs to get it together here real quick.” The focus is on the national Motor Voter Law that allows voters to register at DMV offices. Padilla said reports that all 1,500 people registered in error were non-citizens was not correct.
“We are not talking about 1,500 non-citizens,” he said. “What we are talking about is 1,500 individuals who either did not attest to their eligibility and that could be for a variety of reasons. Maybe it’s citizenship. Maybe it’s age. You are also not eligible to vote in California if you are on parole for felony conviction (and) your parole has not been completed. There’s different reasons for not being eligible.”
Padilla said his staff was still “mining through the records to see what we are talking about here.”
He also emphasized that it was not an effort by the individuals to circumvent state voting requirements.
“It’s the DMV that made the mistake,” he said. “I’ve gotten calls overnight that these are people who are not eligible but were trying to register to vote. That is not the case. These are individuals who specifically told the DMV either I’m not eligible or would not confirm their eligibility and the DMV still mistakenly registered them.” Padilla said his staff has “cancelled the registration of those 1,400-1,500 individuals.”