Last month Judicial Watch and Election Integrity Project of California filed a lawsuit against the county of Los Angeles and the state of California. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants have failed to properly maintain the voter rolls (Judicial Watch v. Dean Logan, No. 2:17-cv-08948). The complaint alleges that Los Angeles County has approximately 144% voter registration. It also claims that California has 101% voter registration. It is a factual impossibility to have more people registered to vote than eligible to vote. Thus, the lawsuit.

Plaintiffs allege that Dean Logan and Alex Padilla have violated federal law by not removing from the voter rolls those who have died and those who have moved away, in a timely manner.

By failing to keep the voter rolls clean, the defendants are making it easy for special interests to swing close elections. Almost every day I hear a new story about problems with California’s elections. Stories of voters who showed up at the polls, and were told that someone had already voted for them. Stories of bus-loads of individuals traveling from precinct to precinct. Stories of family members, discovering that their dead relative has been voting for years. These stories are not happening 100 years ago – they happened in 2016. 

One of the reasons we have registration rolls is to stop people from voting more than once. In 1852, just two years after California achieved statehood, there was a special election for an assemblyman in Contra Costa county. That evening, as a passenger got on the ferry to go back to San Francisco, he was approached by a group of men who demanded that they be paid because they “did their job and voted’ for H.W. Carpenter in seven different precincts.

It was examples like these that caused California voters to eventually insist that their legislature require voter registration. The citizens of California did not want their politicians to use fraud and deceit to buy elections. Californians wanted fair and free elections. One fraudulently cast ballot is too many.

In the same way that elections were stolen in the past by people voting multiple times, so likewise today elections can be stolen when dishonest people are able to vote for people who are dead or have moved. Dead people are not going to complain that someone is voting for them. If someone has moved, they also are not verifying that anyone is voting for them. With modern technology, it is easy for someone who wants to swing a close election to determine some individuals who will not be voting. Since California has no voter ID law, they can vote for this previously registered individual with minimal risk of being caught. Each fraudulent cast vote dilutes the votes from those who are entitled to cast one ballot.

Maintaining the voter rolls is an important part of ensuring fair and free elections in California. Everytime we look at our state flag, we are reminded that we live in a republic. In a republic, the people vote for their representatives. By voting, we provide direction to our elected officials as to the wishes of we the people. When special interests uses fraud to obtain more votes for their prefered bought and paid for candidate, the republic is damaged. This fraud results in special interests using the power of the purse to dictate how we are to be governed. It is imperative that California and county of Los Angeles clean up the voter rolls, so that Californians can once again be assured that their vote counts.