Court Brief: Thousands of Dead, Duplicated CA Voter Registrants Could Get Mail Ballots

New Amicus Briefs Outline Widespread Flaws in ‘Active’ California Voter Roll

(SACRAMENTO, CA.) – June 24, 2020: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF)’s amicus briefs filed in two federal lawsuits regarding California’s expanded use of mail ballots in 2020 were accepted by their respective courts this week.

The briefs outline flaws in the California voter registration roll with particular emphasis on deceased registrants and apparently duplicated registrants with overlapping voting histories.

On June 18, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a requirement that mail ballots be transmitted to all “active” registrants for use in the 2020 General Election in November. The Foundation’s briefs describe audit findings within the same “active” portion of California’s voter roll, demonstrating that widespread errors can be exacerbated even if only those registrants are getting auto-mailed ballots.

“California has a history of demonstrating that automation in voting processes will cause errors,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “Auto-mailings to active registrants won’t protect the state from sending ballots to dead and duplicated registrants—especially those who’ve shown an acknowledged willingness to take advantage of extra votes.”

California ‘Active’ Voter Roll Audit Quick Facts

— # of Dead Registrants: 23,000

— # of Registrants Who Apparently Voted in Two CA Counties in 2016: 280

— # of Registrants Who Apparently Voted Twice from Same Addresses in 2016, 2018: 1,525

— # of Registrants Duplicated Across State Lines with Apparent Voter Credits in 2018 Election: 2,000

California Mail Voting Problems 2012 – 2018

— # Mail Ballots Sent to Outdated Addresses: 836,500

— # Mail Ballots Listed as “Status Unknown”: 13,877,000

The briefs attach a letter to the California Secretary of State which outline the findings.

The Foundation ultimately sampled all active registrants, finding more than 23,000 listed as dead according to the Social Security Death Index and corresponding published obituaries.

The Foundation also studied and catalogued examples of single registrants who managed to become registered to vote multiple times in California and another state with apparently overlapping voter credits in 2018. The Foundation flagged a sample of 2,000 registration files for interstate duplicate concerns.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation is leading the nation in enforcing election integrity laws and the National Voter Registration Act, having brought cases in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maryland, Florida, Mississippi, and Maine and filed amicus briefs in litigation across the nation.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation devoted significant resources into developing real data tools that find problems with election administration and works cooperatively with officials to fix findings. PILF currently has active lawsuits in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maryland, and Maine and just recently settled a case in Houston, Texas.

The litigation continues in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. The case numbers are 2:20-cv-01044 and 2:20-cv-01055. The attorneys for the Public Interest Legal Foundation are John C. Eastman and Noel Johnson.

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections.

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