Listen to Ellen Swensen, Chief Analyst of The Election Integrity Project on The Rich Gilgallon Show, Apr 14 2014
Synopsis: Ellen Swensen joins The Rich Gilgallon Show to discuss various elections related issues. Ellen’s interview begins at 00:04:53.
Synopsis: Ellen Swensen joins The Rich Gilgallon Show to discuss various elections related issues. Ellen’s interview begins at 00:04:53.
Synopsis: Linda Paine joins Joe to discuss the latest petition circulating in hopes of hitting California ballots. Tune in! Linda’s interview begins at 00:33:00.
Synopsis: Is there election fraud in California? Does the voter ID process at California polls provide adequate protection for California’s voters? Dawn Verkaik and Ellen Swensen from the Election Integrity Project share the startling results from their work monitoring past elections in California.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SANTA CLARITA, CA. May 27, 2014 – Election Integrity Project (EIP), a citizen-funded nonpartisan election oversight group, today released its report on California’s election system, titled The Doors Are Wide Open for California Election Corruption. The report provides an analysis of the state’s compliance with federal and state election statutes, including poor voter registration list maintenance and how lack of compliance results in suspected voter fraud. California is the only state without a federally-required “single, uniform, official, centralized, interactive, computerized statewide voter registration list”, as mandated by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). The state entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Justice in 2005, which required it to “expedite” the development of a fully compliant database. The new database, to be called VoteCal, will not be completed until mid-2016, and EIP’s report casts doubt on whether VoteCal will ever be built. Meanwhile, in a high tech state with 55 Electoral College votes and 53 U.S. House seats, California’s “official” state list is an agglomeration of 58 county lists and uses 1993 technology. Each county maintains its own rolls, resulting in lack of uniformity across counties. In some counties, there are clear violations of another federal law, Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, that requires accurately and timely voter list maintenance. List maintenance deficiencies are illustrated in a chart which shows over 81,000 list irregularities (duplicate registrations, deceased, double voting) in just nine counties reported by EIP to election officials in 2013. Los Angeles County, which is the nation’s largest county and whose votes swing the state and the nation, has a disturbingly high percent of irregularities– more than twice the rate of other large counties. Given the large numbers of list irregularities, the report questions whether the state is complying with its MOA, which requires regular checks against state databases for voters that have died, moved, etc. The report also shows that EIP has submitted over 3,200 suspected unlawful voters (suspected double voters, deceased voters) to election officials. In a state with no voter ID, messy lists can result in voting fraud since duplicated and deceased persons are easy to impersonate. This is especially true in California, the report shows, since poll workers are not sufficiently trained on voter check-in procedures. The EIP report also highlights a disturbing trend in the responses of election officials to EIP’s findings. While some county officials are serious about election integrity, many, including Secretary of State Debra Bowen, refuse to answer EIP’s lawfully-submitted questions about whether irregularities have been cleared and whether unlawful voters have been referred to law enforcement. “It’s very concerning that the officials we entrust with the integrity of our elections simply ignore some laws and dismiss the expressed concerns of citizens,” said EIP President Linda Paine. “The people of California deserve to have confidence that their elections are compliant with the law and that our officials are serious about preventing the corruption of the system that EIP has exposed.” To learn more about Election Integrity Project and to support their vital work to protect fair and honest elections for all voters, visit www.electionintegrityproject.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SANTA CLARITA, CA. April 14, 2014 – Election Integrity Project (EIP), a citizen-funded nonpartisan election oversight group, today reported on its analysis of 2012-2013 on-line voter registrations in nine counties. California’s on-line registration system was authorized by Governor Brown and launched September 19, 2012, one month before the registration cut-off date for the 2012 Presidential Election. News reports at that time suggested that on-line voter registration was implemented to boost college-age registrations and help pass the Proposition 30 tax increase that was on the ballot. More than 500,000 Californians registered on line during that period. EIP’s analyses of voter lists in nine counties show that the on-line registration system lacks sufficient safeguards to prevent duplications of existing voters. The organization found that 6,080 persons duplicated their voter registrations using the on-line system. Over 4,500 of these duplicates occurred in Los Angeles County. Unfortunately, the duplications were not identified and cleared up by officials before the 2012 election and they were still on the counties’ books as of summer-fall 2013. While voters may not have purposely duplicated their registrations, the system should have prevented the duplication of already-registered persons. In addition to the 6,080 duplicates generated via the on-line system, 113 of these suspected duplicated registrants appear to have voted twice on November 6, 2012. Almost half of these suspected double voters were college age (18-24), who were targeted for on line registration and Proposition 30 support in that election. EIP President Linda Paine stated, “With serious list maintenance deficiencies in California counties and no single, statewide voter registration database in place, it was shocking that the Governor chose to authorize an online voter registration system that would potentially disenfranchise legitimate voters by ultimately enabling double voting.” EIP has submitted the duplicate registrations and suspected double voters to county election officials for investigation. California’s chief election officer, Secretary of State Debra Bowen, has also been notified. There has been no response to EIP’s expressed concerns about the on-line voter registration system from any election official, including Bowen and Los Angeles Co. Registrar Dean Logan. Additionally, EIP knows of only one EIP-reported case of unlawful voting that has been referred to law enforcement by election officials. To learn more about Election Integrity Project and to support their vital work to protect fair and honest elections for all voters, visit www.electionintegrityproject.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SANTA CLARITA, CA. January 30, 2014– Election Integrity Project (EIP), an independent, non-partisan citizen organization, today sent its third set of registration irregularities to Los Angeles County Registrar Dean Logan for investigation. The third submittal brings the total reported irregularities to 60,352. Previous reports were sent on September 13, 2013 and December 12, 2013. The suspected irregularities include 37,675 registrants that appear to be registered more than once in the county, 14,958 suspected deceased registrants, and 5,330 registrants that appear to be registered in both LA and San Diego counties. EIP has also submitted 2,389 registrants that appear to have double voted in an election or voted after date of death. The Registrar’s office has only responded to the initial September 13 report, stating that it had conducted a review to authenticate the integrity of the information EIP provided and was referring it to their voter records staff to update their registration information accordingly. The Registrar’s office has not denied the validity of any of the reported irregularities, yet EIP’s December 12 request for a meeting to discuss the findings has gone unanswered. About the reports of unlawful voting, the Registrar’s office said it will “refer any irregularities identified and/or confirmed to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.” EIP’s request for a copy of each law enforcement referral has also gone unanswered. “LA County is large, so one would expect larger numbers of irregularities than other counties. What’s troubling is that LA County has more than double the irregularities on a per-registrant basis than other large counties such as San Diego and Riverside,” said EIP President Linda Paine. “A reasonable question is why?” Election Integrity Project seeks to answer this question, its goal being to improve voter confidence in California’s elections. One step in attaining this goal is to request feedback from county entities about their compliance with Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act. Section 8 requires state and local officials to maintain voter lists in an accurate and timely manner and to inactivate or cancel records when legally indicated, such as when a registrant moves out of county or dies. In the case of LA County, the question remains unanswered. To learn more about Election Integrity Project, visit www.electionintegrityproject.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SANTA CLARITA, CA. December 10, 2013 – EIP report raises concern of serious procedural breakdowns at polls in 2012 election. Election Integrity Project (EIP), an independent, non-partisan citizen organization, today released its California Poll Observer Report for the November 6, 2012 Presidential Election. The report documents a significant level of non-compliance with the state election law designed to prevent voter impersonation. The research also highlights insufficient training of poll workers– leading to systemic non-compliance with California and federal election procedures.
“In a state with no voter ID, it is most concerning to find a lack of compliance with the basic voter check-in law,” EIP President Linda Paine said. “Our findings show that California voters have virtually no protection from impersonation at the polls.”
California Elections Code §14216 requires voters to announce their name and address out loud, the clerk to repeat the name and address in a like manner, and the voters to write their name and address in the roster– each step a deterrent to voter impersonation. Non-compliance with this law was the primary problem documented by EIP observers. The following violations were documented:
“California’s check-in procedure is only effective if the poll workers are in full compliance,” said Ellen Swensen, EIP’s Chief Analyst. “This is critical because EIP is seeing thousands of registrations in our counties’ voter rolls that we believe are illegitimate, many indicating post-mortem voting or multiple votes by one person. Registrants that have moved away, died or never existed are easy to impersonate. Voter impersonation cancels out someone’s lawful vote and that’s not acceptable.”
EIP’s efforts and its Poll Observer Report stand in stark contrast to the State’s own Election Day Observation Report. In a state with over 100,000 poll workers, 25,000 precincts and 13 million ballots cast, Secretary of State Debra Bowen deployed only eight observers to seven counties and reported, “Only a few problems were encountered by voters and poll workers on Election Day.” EIP’s report consists of over 1,700 violations submitted by more than 450 of EIP’s trained observers, reporting on over 650 precincts in 21 counties.
The Secretary of State has been in possession of the EIP report since August 23. EIP had hoped to work together with the Secretary to craft solutions to the problem, but a meeting October 29 with Deputy Secretary of State Evan Goldberg and Chief Counsel Lowell Finley was unproductive. After reading EIP’s report, Deputy Goldberg acknowledged that the report shows legal violations but Counselor Lowell claimed that the Secretary has no line authority over the conduct of county elections officers. Both officials indicated that they have no plans to ensure that the counties better comply with the election laws highlighted in the report. However, EIP’s reading of Government Code § 12172.5 shows that, as the chief elections officer of the state, “the Secretary of State shall see that state election laws are enforced”. EIP is awaiting a clarification from Counselor Finley on this point of disagreement.
“We still hope to work with the Secretary to ensure county compliance with California law in 2014 and beyond,” said Paine. “Voters expect and deserve an election system they can have confidence in.”
To read EIP’s comprehensive study, California Poll Observer Report for the November 6, 2012 Presidential Election, click here.
Vendor selection raises questions concerning propriety of award.
Few voters know that California is the only state in the nation without a federally-required centralized state-wide voter registration database, as mandated in 2002 by the federal government’s Help America Vote Act. What they also don’t know is that the state has now hired a questionable firm to build that database.
In 2005, California negotiated a memorandum of agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice that allowed the required new database to be delayed if the state met certain “interim” terms in managing its voter lists. This “interim solution” is a messy combination of 58 independent county databases. Despite the fact that California is a hotbed of technology, this “interim” database uses 1993 software and an outdated architecture, which have not been effectively updated. The “new and improved” state database (VoteCal), is not slated for launch until mid 2016.
March 2013 Secretary of State hires a contractor: Failed ObamaCare tech firm CGI! EIP has learned that the contract to build the new HAVA compliant VoteCal database has been awarded to CGI Technologies and Solutions, a part of the same company as CGI Federal, the tech firm that built most of the failed Healthcare.gov website. Like the ObamaCare contract, CGI was awarded the project with no competition. In the latter case, because the RFP financial requirements for vendors were so demanding that only CGI was determined to be qualified. Lack of competitive bids may also explain why the contract price more than doubled since an earlier, failed attempt to build VoteCal in 2009-2010. California Technology Agency has rightly complained about lack of VoteCal vendor competition, stating that “competition is paramount to achieving effective information technology solutions”. And State Auditor Elaine Howell said in her August 8, 2013 audit of the Secretary of State office that limited competition “raises concerns for future success” of VoteCal.
No centralized voter registration database means chaos in our voter rolls and enables voter fraud. Lacking a single, centralized voter registration database means that the state cannot easily identify and clear up anomalies such as duplicated and deceased registrants and those that have relocated. And, the ability to check for voters registered in more than one county is nearly impossible. This means that tens of thousands of illegitimate registrations remain on the rolls. Because California has no voter ID, these anomalies create opportunities for voter impersonation. In Los Angeles County alone, EIP identified over 35,000 registrants that appear to be registered more than once and over 15,000 that appear to be deceased. Of these, hundreds appear to have voted more than once or after date of death.
Will California voters ever get relief?! California desperately needs a quality central voter registration database. Years of delays, followed by awarding essentially a “one-bid” contract to the firm that flubbed the Obamacare site begs the question: Do Sacramento politicians somehow benefit from the status quo of poorly managed voter rolls and is the new VoteCal system being designed to fail?
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 email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SANTA CLARITA, CA. August 15, 2013 – The California State legislature recently submitted a finalized version of AB 817 to Governor Brown for his signature. Once again, “representatives” for the people of California have evaded citizens’ attempts to have their voices heard and their desires reflected in legislative actions. While the bill was being debated in both the Assembly and Senate, legislators received floods of phone calls, emails, faxes, letters and post cards opposing AB 817, a bill that authorizes non-citizens to serve as Poll Workers in California elections. Upon receiving EIP’s official opposition letter, several legislators responded with questions and indicated that they were amenable to meeting with us in their offices to discuss the issue. Nevertheless, the bill was brought to the floor for a vote the next day and passed. It is now on the Governor’s desk. President of the Election Integrity Project, Linda Paine, points out that “the citizens of California were ignored by state legislators when they passed AB 817.” She continues to say, “A series of bad bills which would continue to erode the integrity of California’s electoral process have been moving through legislative channels since January, 2013. These include AB19 (Internet Voting in a state without a HAVA compliant statewide database), AB 131 (no longer requires place of birth on the voter application), and SB 113 (allows students age 15 to 17 to register before they are eligible to vote.) The citizens of California must speak up now, and demand that the laws of the state serve to support and improve election integrity.” Education Director of the Election Integrity Project, Ruth Weiss, states, “It is clear from the content of the bills being passed since October of 2012 that there is a desire on the part of the majority of California legislators to open all elements of our voting process to virtually anyone and everyone, with few, if any, restrictions. EIP firmly believes in the Rule of Law and the Sovereignty of the state and the nation, both of which should preclude the inclusion of noncitizens in the election process.” Election Integrity in California is being diminished because of bills like AB 817. The state currently fails to follow existing federal and state election laws, as evidenced by the EIP Report found on the EIP website. Adding new and unreasonable laws is not in the best interest of the voters. EIP invites citizens of all states to join its leadership on the west lawn of the Capitol from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on August 29 to enjoy music, listen to speakers, peruse displays and become visible citizens participating in our First Amendment right to assemble peaceably and petition the government for a redress of our grievances regarding the lack of protection of the integrity of California elections.
Download PDF Media Release Directions: California State Capitol Building – West Lawn, 10th and L Streets, Sacramento, CA Contacts: Linda Paine 661-313-5251 firstname.lastname@example.org Ruth Weiss 619-820-5175 email@example.com