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Hundreds of California voters being registered to wrong party: report

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Hundreds of California voters have reportedly had their party affiliation unexpectedly altered and county officials are blaming the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

The Sacramento Bee reported that at least 600 people have seen the changes in several counties including Sacramento, Santa Clara and Shasta. 

Officials have reportedly linked the issue to the state’s Motor Voter program, which automatically registers eligible voters when they go to the DMV. The Bee reported that a rushed launch of the program in 2018 resulted in 105,000 registration errors. 

Sacramento County Voter Registration & Elections public information officer Janna Haynes told The Sacramento Bee that about two-thirds of about 200 complaints the department received from people who were now registered as having no party preference were from people who had recently gone to the DMV. 

“There does seem to be a correlation,” Haynes said. “We have experienced this kind of issue in the past, but there does seem to be an increase.”

The newspaper reported that it is not clear what happened to people who did not visit the DMV, but that people may have wrongly filled out documents or workers may have put their data in incorrectly. 

Among those affected by the issue was the daughter of the state Senate’s Republican leader, according to the report.

The DMV told The Bee in a statement that it has made improvements to prevent people from being switched to no party preference without their knowledge. 

“The DMV is not aware of a computer glitch or system issue related to voter registration,” the department said. “DMV worked in partnership with the Secretary of State’s office to implement improvements to the party preference portion of the registration process in January 2019.”

Tags California Voter registration

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