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Update: DMV responds to problems with voter registration

Update: Wednesday, October 17:

Following the publication of this story the Department of Motor Vehicles responded to reports voter registration was on hold stating "The California DMV has not stopped the Motor Voter program. The DMV has added quality control measures to check that voter registration information is accurate before being sent to the Secretary of State’s office." They added they believe the issues have been resolved.

The Shasta County Registrar reports that voter information being collected by the DMV is not being passed along to her office. We are reaching out to the Secretary of State's Office and Shasta County Clerk/Registrar Cathy Darling Allen for further clarification.

Original Story:

Shasta County's Registrar of Voters says the California DMV is no longer registering voters automatically due to a list of issues caused by the "Motor Voter Program"

Cathy Darling Allen, said the errors range from the incorrect party preference to incorrectly requesting a mail-in ballot and even registering people who asked not to be registered.

"Some media reports have said there's about 100,000 voter registration records across the state that had a problem," said Darling Allen. "It's important to keep in mind that out of the 15 million registered voters in California, Shasta County has just about one hundred thousand."

She added that regardless of the numbers, every vote is important and so is trust in the elections process.

Darling Allen said the errors stemming from the Motor Voter Program started 18 months ago.

"The law in California changed about 18 months ago, basically to register everyone who comes in contact with the DMV," said Allen.

Shasta County resident Rick Slocum went to the DMV to renew his license and said he was re-registered to vote incorrectly.

"By law you have to go to the DMV when you're 70 years old and retake a written and a vision test," said Slocum. "I did so and I left."

He said he wasn't even asked about registering. The Motor Voter program re-registered Slocum while he was at the DMV but changed his political party and changed his preferences to a "mail-in ballot". Slocum prefers to vote in person.

"I'm just sort of upset with the DMV and the process of they put in to re-register people without knowing," said Slocum.

The problem happens somewhere in the transfer between the DMV and the Secretary of State's Office. The state is saying it's an IT error.

"I don't think there is any nefarious intent here at all," said Darling Allen. "I think, unfortunately, it's just human error but at the same time I'm not at all involved in how this data gets transmitted. We're just the recipient here at the county level."

"I believe there's a purpose that the California government changed the process to have a non-elected organization start registering," said Slocum. "I have my personal thoughts but people need to think about what the government is doing in this state."

Slocum had his registration fixed Tuesday and said it was an easy process at the elections office.

"Very easy, very simple, they were very accommodating," said Slocum.

Slocum is the first to come forward in Shasta County with an error in his registration and encourages everyone to check on their own by going online or calling the elections office.

Problems have only been happening since April, so if you haven't been to the DMV in the last 6 months there should be no issues.

Party registration won't make a difference in this upcoming election, but it will determine what ballot you get in the March 2020 Primary election.


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