California’s attempts to automate voter registration through visits to its Department of Motor Vehicles produced 84,000 duplicate voter records, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The Times reported that auditors of the “motor voter” program reviewed 3 million voter registration files. They compared these records with those of the state’s motor vehicles department and secretary of state, finding 83,694 duplicate voter registrations. The Times reported this massive duplication of records was caused by changes in voters’ political party preferences.
“This assessment has identified risks that, if not addressed, will adversely impact the realization of the intended benefits of the program,” an auditor wrote in the official report.
California’s “Motor Voter” program launched in April 2018. It registered people to vote when they visited the DMV, unless they choose to opt out. It helped 5 million Californians register to vote or update their voter information, according to California’Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
“Many of the point-in-time findings and recommendations have already been implemented by DMV to improve the way we collect information from our customers and provide Motor Voter information to the Secretary of State,” DMV director Steve Gordon said in a statement.
This audit is not the first time this program has been exposed as promoting voter fraud. In October 2018, 1,500 non-citizens, most of who legally reside in the United States to work, were registered to vote.
These errors may lead to a lack of public trust in the program and the validity of official election results. As 2020 elections roll around, it is important that the state find a way to fix these errors and ensure trust among Californians and voters across the nation.