California DMV Blunders Exacerbate Voter Fraud Concerns

SACRAMENTO -- The Department of Motor Vehicles is once again plagued by missteps in California, registering thousands of voters by mistake, some of whom may not even be eligible to vote.

After not one but two major blunders by California's DMV in registering voters, there have been new questions about California's election system statewide, like who’s voting, is it fair and is it legitimate.

"We in California can have a lot of trust in our registration and election system," said Paul Mitchell, the vice president of Political Data, Inc. "It’s unfortunate to me that these small errors kind of cast a doubt on the entire system.”

Mitchell says the data shows there is no evidence of any widespread voter fraud or illegitimacy in California's voting process. Despite the evidence, he admits the DMV's current issues will likely make voters more skeptical.

"We’ve kind of sowed this idea of voter fraud in our culture," Mitchell said. "Just complete falsehood, like nothing further from the truth."

This week, Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced 1,500 people had been automatically registered by mistake at DMV offices. Last month, there were 23,000 mistaken registrations.

In total, that's a fraction of 1 percent of the voting population.

But as Mitchell predicted, some voters had strong reactions.

"That sounds like a rigged system or something," said Sacramento voter Calvin Gardner. "A lot of people ... they’re taking information, putting in whatever they want."

"There’s no guarantee I don't think on anything, no matter what kind of security they think they promise," said Sacramento voter Jeanette Hall.

It isn’t only voters who have expressed concern. On Tuesday, Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, called for an end to allowing the DMV to register voters.

"We cannot trust the same individuals who messed this up to go and fix it," Patterson said.

Padilla also called for an independent audit into the DMV's registration process in a step to assure voters just weeks away from election day.

This problem seems to transcend California as well. An Associated Press-NORC poll found eight in 10 Americans are at least somewhat worried about election security.