DMV Admits Errors on More Than 23,000 Voter Registrations

The California Department of Motor Vehicles revealed September 5 that its technicians may have botched approximately 23,000 voter registrations under the state’s new “motor voter” law.

A letter from DMV Director Jean Shiomoto and Department of Technology Director Amy Tong to Secretary of State Alex Padilla said the DMV sent the Secretary of State’s Office incorrect information for some voters. The DMV said the errors mostly affected vote-by-mail, language and political party selections.

The agency said it will send letters to affected voters so they can correct their information. The letter did not indicate how much the error will end up costing the taxpayers.

“I am extremely disappointed and deeply frustrated that DMV’s administrative error caused inaccurate voter registration data to be transmitted to elections officials,” Padilla said in a statement.

Despite the DMV’s reputation for having trouble keeping up with its workload related to driving, the Legislature voted three years ago to give the agency the additional responsibility of being involved in the elections process. The motor voter law (AB 1461 of 2015) provides that every person who has a driver’s license or state identification card and who is eligible to register to vote is automatically registered, unless he or she opts out. The law took effect in April. (Source: KCRA News, September 5.)

California Tax Foundation   |   1215 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95814   |   916.441.0490   |