As many of you know, there's alarming news in our fight for fair and transparent elections: California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson entered into an agreement with the Bush Administration's Justice Department last year to implement a statewide voter registration database system that will disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters in California.
The special election to fill the San Diego Congressional seat vacated by Randy "Duke" Cunningham is next week, as well as over 20 municipal elections, and the registration deadline for the June 6 primary is May 22. We don't have much time!
More below the flip.
This is a 43% rejection rate! In fact, virtually all of these applications would have been accepted before Secretary McPherson rolled out his new statewide voter registration database. Typically rejection rates are 1-2%. This is outrageous.
And many of these applications were rejected for trivial matters -- for example, for example, if your last name is "O'Brien," it will not match "O Brien" or "OBrien." A voter who leaves out one digit of her driver's license will be rejected -- even if it's obviously the same person. Plus, technical system errors prevented almost 5% of valid applications from being accepted.
We're talking about thousands of eligible voters, many of whom have been registered for years, being thrown off the voter rolls. Unless they correct these trivial errors with their local registrar, these fellow citizens won't receive sample ballots in the mail, notifying them of their polling places. They won't receive absentee ballots -- and in some California counties, 30% of voters are permanent absentee voters. Provisional votes will not be counted unless the voter contacts the registrar before the close of the election canvass. In other words, it will be much more difficult for voters to get their legitimate vote counted.
Now Secretary McPherson says he will try to get the Legislature to pass a bill to overturn his restrictive, anti-voter regulations. Why should the people of California wait for the Legislature and Governor to act, with the April 11th special election in San Diego less than a week away and the June 6th primary rapidly approaching, when Secretary McPherson can fix this problem now? McPherson created this problem -- now he should own up to it, show some leadership, take some responsibility, and fix it.
That's why I urge you to join me in calling on Secretary McPherson to undo his agreement with the Bush Administration and roll back the regulations that are rejecting tens of thousands of voter registration (and re-registration) applications.
Secretary McPherson must act now. Please join me in telling Secretary McPherson to solve this problem that he himself created.
P.S. This morning, I'm chairing a hearing into the voter registration debacle, so I won't be able to respond to your comments right away. But I'll be back online this afternoon, after the hearing wraps up.
P.P.S. Also, if you live in California, and if you registered or re-registered to vote after January 1, 2006, please visit http://www.ss.ca.gov/... to contact your local voter registrar and confirm that you're on the voter rolls. And email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you or anyone you know has experienced problems with their voter registration and has been dumped off the voter rolls.