Speech given on July 14, 2018 in Del Norte County –
“The United States has some of the worst elections in the world, in the developed country; and California has the second worse elections in the nation.
Let’s talk about those four aspects here for a few minutes.
Let’s start with voter registration – Why is voter registration so important? Because in California we do not require voter ID. And if you do not have clean voter registration where only those people who are eligible to vote are on the voting roles, you have problems in certain large cities where the elections may be close. So people will go in and cast unauthorized or illegal ballots.
Maybe it’s the six buses that show up in one precinct in one day with a bunch of homeless people in it; or the prof that shows up with a bunch of college students in Santa Barbara, or maybe it’s the van, the migrant workers in Fresno County. But when you do not have voter ID laws and you have loaded voter roles you create an opportunity for fraud that special interest take advantage of in very close elections. Thus extorting your vote. Diluting your vote and instead shifting the power to special interests who are able to insure they are bought and paid for ? politicians get elected. And when bought and paid for politicians are elected by special interests they do feel like they are accountable to we the people. They are accountable to that special interest.
How bad is our voter registration in California? We have eleven counties with over 100% voter registration.
There are five ways that you get bloated voter roles:
- When somebody dies and they don’t remove their name from the voter roles.
- When somebody moves and they don’t remove their name from the voter roles.
- When somebody, when you get a duplicate voter registration, that may happen when a woman gets married and changes her name and they don’t remove the old voter registration, you create a duplicate voter registration.
- Fictitious registrations, the Dallas cowboys and of course
- When a non-citizen is registered to vote.
We got a problem in this state with our bloated voter roles. But see, the problem isn’t that we don’t know what to do. We know what to do. How do we know this? Earlier this year the State of Ohio went before the United States Supreme Court on a case about how they were cleaning up their voter roles. And, the State of California joined with the State of New York in a brief to the Supreme Court where they said, “Ohio is breaking the law in how they are cleaning up the voter roles. And they said, Here are eleven different government data bases that the Secretary of State can use to clean up the voting roles. Of those eleven data bases, the State of California uses three of them. That means that the State of California knows of eight additional data bases that we can use to cross check our voter registration roles to make sure we have the most accurate voter registration roles as possible.
Now lucky for us, the Supreme Court actually said the State of Ohio was perfectly within it’s rights to remove somebody from their voting roles who hadn’t voted in a long time. They were sent a notice, they didn’t respond to that notice and they still didn’t vote in a long time. A legitimate means of cleaning voter roles.
As I say, the first aspect starts with voter registration and it’s a very simple task is to start cleaning it up. All it takes is a little communication with government agencies something that we seem to really lack. Right now, if you were to move from Del Norte County and let’s say you wanted to move to Phoenix, Arizona what are you going to do? You’re going to tell the post office and have all of your mail forwarded. You go to the DMV and the DMV is going to communicate …. but when you register to vote in Phoenix, Phoenix is not going to tell our clerk here that you registered to vote. That is one of the reasons why’s there are two different organization that have a interstate contact yet California has refused to join either one of those ? And such a simple way to start keeping our voter roles more up to date than they are right now.
Number two aspect of elections. Voting Now I election in June, walked into my polling place and as I was filling out my ballot, I heard a man come in and he said he was there to vote. And they looked up his name and the poll worker said, “Oh, you’re registered to vote by mail.”
He said, “No, I’m not. I’ve never voted by mail my entire life.”
“Well, we have you down as vote by mail, we mailed you a ballot.”
He said, “I’ve never received a vote by mail ballot.”
The election worker said, “So here is a provisional ballot, you can vote provisionally.”
I happen to know I’ve given you the shorter version, but during that conversation, I happen to know that that poll worker did not follow California law.
And I don’t really fault the poll worker because they have one day of training. And they don’t know all the laws. We have to train our poll workers to the law. We have to make sure they understand things. But if nothing else, that poll worker could have taken the time to explain what a provisional ballot was, and how their vote was going to be counted and instead that man was so irate that he showed up to the polls to vote and he thought it wasn’t going to happen. Our poll workers are the face of our elections.
Most voters will never meet the Secretary of State or the County Registrar of Voters. But they will see the poll workers. We have to make sure that they understand the laws and they understand good proper customer service so that way people do not leave the poll like that man thinking that his right to vote had been taken away from him.
All it would have taken was a little bit of site training to handle that situation because poll workers only work one or two days a year on that job. By the time they get done with the November election, if they work the June primary and November election, by the time 7:55 roles around they kinda know what they’re doing.
But it’s a problem of what we have because that man felt that his vote was jeopardized. And what’s going to happen in November when that guy’s boss shows up into the office at 5:30 and says, “Can you stay at work for an extra hour and do something?
He’s going to say, “No, I can’t because I need to go vote.” He’s going to say, “The last time I showed up it just became a provisional ballot.”
Integrity in our elections is the number one most important reason to ensuring that we have solid participation.
The number three aspect is counting the ballots, we have all sorts of issues there between Sacramento, LA…what happened to LA with 118,000 people being told they were not registered to vote. Created all sorts of issues in counting ballots, but mail in ballots how to check the signatures. There are so many problems with counting of the ballots. Personally for me, about three weeks into the count, I had over two million votes. But this is the next day, I had 35,000 less votes. I don’t know how your votes go backwards when you’re going forward. Especially, as the clerk will testify, there is a triplicate system in place when the numbers go from the clerk to the Secretary of State. So, your numbers go up, they don’t go back. But, we know that Travis Allen’s numbers dropped 10,000. We also know that on the recall of Josh Newman, the Secretary of State initially reported that Josh Newman kept his seat with 40% when the County was reporting the exact opposite numbers. The County the SOS does not seem to know how to properly post numbers of what the votes are. They refused to answer my questions, Travis Allens questions or the recall of Josh Newman. When people called up to find out what was going on, not even the courtesy of a return phone call. That’s not good customer service.
The fourth aspect honesty in election. It used to be that they would do an audit but now they’re trying to cut the number of ballots that actually get audited. Sounds like less work for the auditors but it means more opportunity for fraud because now under this system they don’t want to audit the ballots. It’s completely up to the Clerk. So if you want to arrange a crooked deal in Los Angeles County, you make sure you postmark all your mail in ballots that you’re stuffing the ballot box with, on election day. Because you know that Dean Logan is not going to audit those ballots that were received after election day.
Now here’s an interesting pivot. Down in San Diego in 2016 we had a presidential election Bernie Sanders versus Hillary Clinton and the Bernie Sanders reporters found an anomaly in the San Diego numbers. Not enough that it was going to change the election, but enough that it really caused them concern about the integrity of that election. So this has to do with a recount which they were denied because the numbers were so far off. They actually had to do a Freedom of Information Request and they were denied. They sued the Secretary of State, the Registrar of Voters, they ended up losing that case. Remember 2000 in Bush v Gore, the media was actually looking at every single ballot to compare everything. Yet, here in California, the Secretary of State does not want, we the people who are the government to actually be able to make sure that our government officials are actually doing their job right.
So, it doesn’t matter if you are a Bernie Sanders supporter, or a right wing Tea Party patriot, the issue of election integrity and your vote matters is universal. That’s why the Secretary of State while it is a partisan office is supposed to be one of the most non-partisan statewide constitutional offices that we have and unfortunately the current incumbent is spending more time on Twitter attacking Trump than he is about making sure we have fair and honest elections.
It’s time to restore integrity to our election process.
Many people who are saying right now the most important race in the entire nation in 2018 is the California Secretary of State race. Because they say, as California goes, so goes the nation.
Until we can get removed from the voter roles approximately 1.2 million non-citizens who are even on our voting roles how can we ever have integrity in our elections? Because the state keeps sending balloting materials to these non-citizens and thinks they must be eligible to vote. So we have to clean up our voter roles and we have to restore integrity to our elections. And when we do that, we would make the path to entry to offices a lot easier.
It starts with the Secretary of State, and it starts in 2018.
45% of California Democrats do not like the direction the state is going.
With Meuser you’re more sure of fair and honest elections.”
Contributions can be made on his website: www.markmeuser.com/contribute
2 Civic Center Dr., #4338
San Rafael, CA 94913
(209) 7-MEUSER (763-8737)
Mark Meuser for Secretary of State
2018 ID# 1399275