As California prepared to launch its new Motor Voter program last year, top elections officials say they asked Secretary of State Alex Padilla to hold off on the roll-out. The plan called for the Department of Motor Vehicles to automatically register people who came into its offices, one of several efforts by Democrats controlling California politics to make it easier for more people to vote. With the June 2018 primary approaching, election officials said they warned that the department that manages car registration and boat licenses was not yet prepared to register voters. “There wasn’t the appropriate readiness to go forward in April, and that was brought to the Secretary of State,” said Dean Logan, registrar for Los Angeles County, adding that he “definitely expressed concern” to the Secretary of State’s Office, as well as Padilla himself.
“The concern from registrars across the state, including myself, was not a resistance to moving forward. We supported the move to the New Motor Voter program in the long term. The concern was had there been adequate testing and development to be ready for the June election.”
California moved forward anyway.
The DMV has since acknowledged making 105,000 registration errors since Motor Voter began on April 23, 2018. Some customers were registered with the wrong party. Others who wished to opt out of the program were nevertheless signed up. At least one non-citizen was added to the voter rolls, and the Secretary of State’s Office is continuing to investigate whether more non-citizens were included.