When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter identification law, the Court observed that “flagrant examples” of voter fraud “have been documented throughout this Nation’s history by respected historians and journalists.” As the National Commission on Federal Election Reform stated in its 2005 bipartisan report, the problem “is not the magnitude of voter fraud. In close or disputed elections, and there are many, a small amount of fraud could make the margin of difference.” The report noted that “[I]nvalid voter files, which contain ineligible, duplicate, fictional, or deceased voters, are an invitation to fraud.”
California, the nation’s leading sanctuary state for illegal aliens, has opened the door to unprecedented opportunities for such voter fraud – and that’s even before California’s use of universal mail-in voting that the state is putting into place this year for the general election. While California is virtually certain not to be a close contest between President Trump and Joe Biden, California’s broken voting system illustrates what can go wrong across the country where the margins of votes between the candidates may be very slim indeed.
A Facebook post in November 2018 stated that 449,000 Californians turned down jury duty claiming they were not citizens. The post went on to say that these non-citizens were on the voter registration list, reasoning that prospective jurors are often culled from voter registration lists.
Left leaning commentators have questioned the accuracy of this post, claiming that Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records are the primary source for the state to identify prospective jurors. Registrars of voter data are used as a secondary source, they argue. Such criticisms miss the forest for the trees when it comes to California and other states where DMV and voter registration databases are electronically linked. Voter registration data are transferred from DMVs to state voter registration systems. Even if DMV records are the primary source for these states to identify prospective jurors, it doesn’t matter because there is a significant overlap with the voter registration data systems. The DMV driver licensing process is used to generate automatic registration data that feed the voter registration data systems.
California’s Department of Motor Vehicles automatically registers people to vote. California allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver licenses. Add them to California’s population of legal immigrants who can obtain driver licenses – none of whom are eligible to vote in federal elections – and there is a large pool of non-U.S. citizens who may be registered to vote anyway. This is an invitation to fraud. California officials have admitted, for example, that they had to investigate whether ineligible individuals who were erroneously registered to vote by the Department of Motor Vehicles cast ballots in the June 2018 primary.
California is not an isolated case of a state linking DMV with voter registration. At least 36 states “currently or will soon have fully or substantially electronic voter registration at DMVs,” according to a 2019 report by the Brennan Center for Justice. These include the battle ground states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
Colorado, like California, permits illegal immigrants to obtain driver licenses. Minnesota and Michigan are considering such legislation.
States that do not allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver licenses but have electronic links between DMV and voter registration systems still have a problem with legal immigrants who can obtain driver licenses. These non-U.S. citizens may become automatically registered to vote even though they are not eligible to vote in federal elections. This has happened in Pennsylvania, for example. The door is then open for these non-U.S. citizens who are legally in this country to vote illegally.
The problem with ineligible voters is much larger than just automatic voter registration at the DMV. Some states have failed to comply with federal law mandating them to maintain accurate voter rolls and remove inactive voter registrations from their records.
On January 3, 2019, California and Los Angeles County settled a case brought by the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch, requiring them to purge as many as 1.5 million inactive voter registrations across the state in compliance with federal law. L.A. County alone allegedly had a voter registration rate of 112 percent of its adult citizen population.
California was not the only state settling with Judicial Watch over the issue of voter registration records. Ohio, a key battle ground state, also settled.
Judicial Watch has also brought a lawsuit this year against Pennsylvania for failing to make reasonable efforts to remove ineligible voters from their rolls as required by federal law. Judicial Watch alleged that Pennsylvania has over 800,000 “inactive” registrations on its voter rolls.
Pennsylvania, like Ohio, is a key battleground state. President Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 by 0.7 percentage points (44,292 votes). Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton wondered whether Pennsylvania state and local officials, many of whom are Democrats, “want to be able to steal elections.”
Judicial Watch also filed a lawsuit against North Carolina and two of its counties for failing to clean their voter rolls. North Carolina is also a battleground state.
“In June 2019, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) released data,” Judicial Watch said in its press release announcing the lawsuit, “showing that voter registration rates in a significant proportion of North Carolina’s 100 counties are close to, at or above 100% of their age-eligible citizenry – statistics considered by the courts to be a strong indication that a jurisdiction is not taking the steps required by law to remove ineligible registrants.” Judicial Watch President Fitton said that “Dirty voting rolls can mean dirty elections, and Judicial Watch must insist that North Carolina follows federal law to clean up its voting rolls.”
On top of out-of-date and inaccurate voter registration rolls within a single state, there is no comprehensive coordination among all the states to eliminate duplicate voter registrations in more than one state. Such multistate voter registration duplications, according to the National Commission on Election Reform, “are a source of potential fraud.”
Imagine the potential for fraud in this year’s general election, particularly in the states where ballots are being mailed directly to all voters. At least nine states fall into that category.
In addition to California sending out ballots automatically to all voters for the first time, Nevada – a battleground state – is also doing so for the first time in a rushed fashion. In 34 additional states, absentee voting is allowed for all voters – no excuse required.
Absentee ballot applications are being sent to all voters for the first time in at least 8 states. Three of them – Iowa, New Mexico and Wisconsin – are battleground states.
According to a New York Times analysis, “At least three-quarters of all American voters will be eligible to receive a ballot in the mail for the 2020 election — the most in U.S. history.” Who knows how many of those receiving ballots in the mail are ineligible to vote but will send in their ballots anyway to be counted?
Back in 2005, the National Commission on Federal Election Reform warned that voting by mail is “likely to increase the risks of fraud and of contested elections.” That was at a time when voting by mail was still in its early stages across the country.
The 2020 general election will encounter unprecedented risks of fraud and of contested elections. It’s inevitable considering the widespread reliance on universal mail-in voting and the festering problem of inaccurate, out of date voter registration rolls. Hold on tight. We’re likely to be in for a rough ride.