DMV

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California: Can DMV be trusted to register voters after 23,000 botched registrations? | San Jose Mercury News

The California Department of Motor Vehicles’ acknowledgement this week that it botched 23,000 voter registrations is raising new questions about whether it can be trusted to register voters at a time when election integrity is under renewed scrutiny nationwide. The DMV said the errors are being corrected and that new safeguards — put in place after the mistakes surfaced — seem to be working. But the registration mistakes come at a time when the DMV is already under fire over massive backlogs in processing new federally compliant IDs, known as Real IDs. “Waiting in line is one thing, but having your voter registration tampered with without your knowledge or consent is a very disturbing development,” Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, said Thursday. “This touches on the very security and honestly the sacredness of a person’s registration and votes. This calls into question the ability of the DMV to manage voter registration.” Read More

California: DMV mishandled thousands of voter registrations | The Sacramento Bee

The California Department of Motor Vehicles on Wednesday said it has discovered it sent the Secretary of State’s Office 23,000 erroneous voter registrations. The agency said the errors occurred within the state’s Motor Voter program — which allows eligible applicants getting a driver license to be automatically registered to vote. The DMV said the errors stem from technicians toggling between multiple screens and registration information being improperly merged. According to the agency, 1,600 residents did not complete a voter registration affidavit and had their information sent to the secretary of state, which maintains the state’s list of registered voters. The DMV said none of the applicants were undocumented immigrants. “We are committed to getting this right and are working closely with the Secretary of State’s office to correct the errors that occurred,” DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said in a statement. Read More

Nevada: DMV chief criticizes alleged voter fraud investigation | Las Vegas Review-Journal

DMV Director Terri Albertson said a letter sent to her office late Friday by Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske came “as a complete surprise.” In a written response to Cegavske, Albertson said, “you and your office have reviewed, contributed to, and approved the processes you are expressing concerns about.” The Republican secretary of state late Friday announced an investigation into alleged voter fraud, saying her office has uncovered evidence that noncitizens had cast ballots in the November election. Non-U.S. citizens who are in the country legally and live in Nevada can obtain a state driver’s license. Those without legal status can obtain a driver authorization card, which cannot be used as formal identification. Neither are eligible to vote. Read More

Nevada: Sandoval waiting for details about alleged voter fraud in Nevada | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Gov. Brian Sandoval said Monday that he “expects to hear more” from the secretary of state about allegations of voter fraud, and he expressed confidence in voter registration procedures at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske took state officials, including the governor and the DMV director, by surprise late Friday when she announced that her office had uncovered evidence that noncitizens had voted in last year’s presidential election. Cegavske in a letter blamed the DMV, claiming that the agency’s personnel had given voter registration materials to people they knew or should have known were ineligible to vote. In a letter to DMV Director Terri Albertson, Cegavske said the practice must “cease immediately.” Cegavske is a Republican and former state legislator from Las Vegas. Read More

Nevada: Secretary of state alleges voter fraud, blames DMV | Associated Press

Nevada’s secretary of state has launched a voter fraud investigation, claiming the Department of Motor Vehicles may have inadvertently added a number of people to the voter rolls who were not citizens in the last presidential election. Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske made the announcement in a letter Friday evening to the state DMV director, Terri Albertson. Albertson hit back Saturday, in a response letter back to Cegavske that read in part: “Your letter comes as a complete surprise as you and your office have reviewed, contributed to, and approved the processes you are expressing concerns about.” Read More

Alabama: Department of Transportation: Alabama to expand driver’s license office hours after probe | AL.com

U.S. Department of Transportation officials said Wednesday that Alabama has agreed to expand driver’s license office hours after determining that black residents in the state were disproportionately hurt by a slate of closures and reductions in 2015. The federal agency launched an investigation last year after Alabama, citing budget concerns, shuttered 31 part-time offices where examiners gave driving tests about once per week. The state said the closures were aimed at the offices that issued the fewest licenses each year, but the closures also came down hard on rural and heavily minority communities. It left more than a third of Alabama’s 67 counties without a license office, including eight of the state’s 11 counties with a majority African-American population. Read More

Pennsylvania: Voter registration through DMV fails some voters | Pocono Record

Michael Diaz went to vote at Our Lady of Victory Church Hall in Tannersville Election day morning. Like so many, he had registered to vote through the Department of Motor Vehicles when he applied for a driver’s license. Diaz was told he wasn’t registered at the sign-in desk, and wouldn’t be able to vote. Instead, he was directed to a second desk where he was able to register, but told he wouldn’t be able to vote until the next election. “They were telling me they’ve been having these problems all morning,” Diaz said of the poll workers he spoke with. His situation does not seem to be isolated. “I’ve received some calls from people who have registered through their driver’s renewals and it didn’t go through,” said Pennsylvania Department of State’s Sandy Dekyi, who was fielding complaints from voters. “They are aware of the situation in Harrisburg.” Read More

Connecticut: Justice Department Signs Off On ‘Motor Voter’ Settlement | Hartford Courant

The state and the U.S. Justice Department reached a settlement to resolve claims that Connecticut’s method of registering voters at the Department of Motor Vehicles was not in compliance with federal law. Under a program beginning next week, applications for driver’s licenses and identification cards will effectively serve as voter registration applications unless a customer specifically opts out. And when a customer changes the address on file at the DMV, that information will be reflected on the voter rolls unless they make a different request. “The motor voter provision of the [National Voter Registration Act of 1993] critically supports and enhances our citizens’ access to the democratic process,” U.S. attorney Deirdre M. Daly said in a statement. “Compliance with those requirements plays an important role in ensuring that all Conneticut citizens can more easily exercise their right to vote.” Read More

Alabama: Bill would require driver’s license offices to be open 2 days a week | AL.com

On the last day of the legislative session last week, Alabama lawmakers passed a bill requiring the state to operate a driver’s license office in every county at least two days a week. The bill, by Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 99-1 on Wednesday. It had earlier passed the Senate by a vote of 24-3.There was no immediate word from Gov. Robert Bentley’s office on whether he will sign it into law. Bentley could let the bill die without his signature. Read More

California: DMV Voter Registration is more complicated than it looks | San Francisco Chronicle

Voter registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles was supposed to make democracy easier, not harder. The reality has been far more complicated. A wrinkle in the DMV’s current process has left many voters in the cold during this hotly contested primary season. As of April 1, the DMV has switched from a largely paper-based registration system to one using computer terminals. The change allows customers to complete their registration without having to fill out a separate form — but registering with a political party requires a second, separate terminal in a different room. More than a third of those who have registered at the DMV since April have not completed the questions at the separate computer terminal. The two-step process has resulted in many potential voters missing out on the chance to record their language, ballot and — crucially — party preferences. The Republican Party’s presidential primary is only open to Republican voters. Read More