FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SANTA CLARITA, CA. September 26, 2013 – EIP and its supporters nationwide have been reeling from Governor Brown’s recent signing of a bill that allows non-citizens to serve as elections workers, despite our best efforts to kill this unconstitutional bill. Now, EIP has learned that further assaults on fair and honest elections in our state are hidden in the Governor’s latest budget, which he signed June 27. The main budget bill, AB 110, suspends nine elections-related mandates for through 2014, a critical election year. Most concerning is the suspension of the requirement that signatures on provisional ballot envelopes be compared against the voters’ registration signatures to determine voter eligibility before the enclosed ballot is counted. To quote California’s own Secretary of State from an unreported July 31st memo (link below) titled “Elections Procedures: 2013-14 State Budget Mandate Suspensions,” this suspension removes “a critical method to prevent voter fraud.” Adding insult to injury, two 2014 SOS candidates (Leland Yee and Alex Padilla) actually voted in support of this suspension. County registrars must still verify that a provisional voter has not already voted in the election. However, county officials now have the option to bypass the long-standing, common sense practice of verifying provisional ballot signatures to validate that the voters are legitimate. California is the land of provisional ballots, which are now an open invitation for fraud! Provisional voting is increasing in California, partly due to the indiscriminate and illegal issuance of these ballots to “anyone” who wants to vote. According to the PEW Charitable Trusts research, Californians cast 1,065,156 provisional ballots on November 6, 2012. This was 7.4% of all California votes cast, making it the #2 provisional-voting state in the union. In that election, California alone accounted for almost 40% of the entire nation’s reported provisional votes! Yet Governor Brown enables fraudsters by removing the critical validation step that ensures these 1+ million votes are lawfully cast and counted. EIP and election observers nationwide have long-held concerns about the use of provisional ballots to commit voter fraud. Cancelling signature verification for these ballots will further open the door to unlawful voting. Provisional ballots can make a difference in close elections and many CA races are decided with small vote margins (for example, the Mayor of Cathedral City, CA won by just 13 votes on Nov. 6, 2012). Citizens from every state in the union should be outraged at the blatant attack on the integrity of CA elections. California’s 55 Electoral College votes and its 53 US House members have a huge impact on the direction of our country, so it is more than a little disconcerting that with just the right amount of massaging of provisional ballots, California can swing the nation. Instead of this stealthy action taken by some of the legislators and Governor Brown, California needs more scrutiny not less. Sources: July 31st Memo from SOS California 2012 Election Snapshot 2012 Election Administration and Voting Survey (tables 28, 34 and discussion) Why Are CA Democrats Defunding Democracy?
Contacts: Linda Paine 661-313-5251 firstname.lastname@example.org