SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California’s Motor Voter Program may get an overhaul after a major glitch before the mid-term elections.
In September, the Department of Motor Vehicles said agency technicians may have botched about 23,000 Californians’ voter registrations by sending the Secretary of State’s office incorrect information for some voters, according to a letter sent by DMV Director Jean Shiomoto and Department of Technology Director Amy Tong. The department says the errors mostly affected customers’ vote-by-mail, language and political party selections.
After the election was over, it came out that 589 voter records weren’t sent from the DMV to the Secretary of State in time – meaning nearly 600 people may have been prevented from voting.
Currently, the DMV must give the Secretary of State specific information about each person who applies for a license or ID card, including whether that person meets the voter pre-registration requirements. Those who qualify are then registered or pre-registered to vote, unless they specifically declines the register to vote option.
Senate Bill 57 introduced Monday would change the process. Instead of needing to decline registration, those getting their license or ID would need to opt-in instead.
Due to the mid-term election issues, the Secretary of State called for new leadership at the DMV. This week it was announced the director will retire.