Taxpayer group calls for state’s ballot-tracking system to aid voter roll clean-up

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association today provided testimony to the Assembly Committee on Elections in opposition to Senate Bill 29 (Umberg), which would extend the emergency expansion of universal mail-in balloting until January 1, 2022.

“While we appreciate the concerns over safety during a pandemic, we are also aware that more needs to be done to maintain current and accurate voter registration rolls as required by federal law,” said HJTA president Jon Coupal. “In 2019, the state of California and Los Angeles County agreed to a settlement in a lawsuit brought by citizens over this issue. Nonetheless, tens of thousands of Californians were mailed more than one ballot in the 2020 election, and the Secretary of State was informed in October of researchers’ findings that more than 400,000 ballots likely were mailed to voters who have moved or died.”

HJTA is calling for lawmakers to require the Secretary of State to use the data from the state’s electronic ballot-tracking system to produce a public report after every election of how many ballots were mailed out, returned undeliverable, returned completed, counted, and not counted with the reason noted.

“The report of the bipartisan Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform in 2005 raised valid concerns about the over-reliance on mail-in ballots,” Coupal said. “We share those concerns. It is documented in California that automatic voter registration at the DMV has resulted in errors in the voter rolls, and it is documented by the Homeland Security Department that foreign actors have attempted, in some cases successfully, to breach the voter registration databases in multiple states. We urge lawmakers to take seriously their responsibility to ensure that the voter rolls in every county are current and accurate.”