Some 1,500 drivers, including non-citizens, were erroneously registered to vote under the states new “Motor Voter” program, the California Department of Motor Vehicles said Monday.
In a letter to Secretary of State Alex Padilla, officials with the DMV and the California Department of Technology said they discovered an administrative processing error that led to approximately 1,500 customers registering to vote in error. This follows earlier reports that the DMV made administrative processing mistakes with another 23,000 registrations, including some 1,600 people who did not intend to register to vote.
Other mistakes included assigning some of those 23,000 voters to political parties they didnt choose. Padilla on Monday called the errors “wholly unacceptable.” In the latest batch of improperly registered voters, its unclear how many were legal residents who are non-citizens. But DMV officials said none are immigrants who obtained drivers licenses under Californias AB-60 law, which has granted more than 1 million people residing illegally in the country a California drivers license.
Meanwhile, officials said they are cleaning up the errors and canceling voter registration for those who are not eligible.
“We have worked quickly with the Department of Technology to correct these errors and have also updated the programming and added additional safeguards to improve this process,” DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said in a statement Monday.
In response to the latest snafu, Padilla called for an independent third-party audit of the Motor Voter program.
The latest errors raise “serious concerns about the method in which (the agencies) have implemented new technologies, the sufficiency of testing and verification prior to implementation, and the transparency of your process to those whose fundamental right to vote may be affected,” Padilla wrote in a letter to Shiomoto and Amy Tong, the director of the California Department of Technology.
“I remain deeply frustrated and disappointed that persistent errors by the DMV and CDT have undermined public confidence in your basic responsibility to collect and transmit accurate registration information, as has been required by federal law for 25 years,” Padilla wrote.
Last April, the DMV began automatically registering to vote eligible citizens who obtain or renew a drivers license, unless the licensee opts out.
Some expressed concern that the automatic registration could lead to potential fraud.
Newport Beach resident Randall Marquis, a Canadian citizen who has lived in California for 31 years, told the Los Angeles Times that he received notice last month that he was registered to vote even though hes not a U.S. citizen.
Marquis, a legal permanent resident, said he threw away the notice because he knew he was not allowed to vote. But still, it worried him. “What bothers me the most about this is that there could be 10,000 errors out there, or more,” Marquis told the Times. “I dont want this current administration being able to say, Look we were right, there were illegal voters!”
He was referring to President Trumps earlier assertions of voter fraud.
Nearly 1.4 million Californians have either registered to vote or updated their voter registration through the California Motor Voter program as of last month.