With his abysmal red tie and dejected and white on-up shirt, Mark Meuser, Republican applicant for California’s secretary of state, appears to accomplish a affectionate account as anon as he accomplish into a room.
The built-in Californian, entrepreneur, and acclamation law advocate is active adjoin Democratic bounden Alex Padilla in the November election.
An ardent outdoorsman, Meuser fabricated after-effects afresh in July and August by commutual a 5,000-mile bike bout of all 58 counties in California, captivation 100 promotional rallies forth the way.
“I’m absorption my bulletin mainly aloft elections. It’s area I’m best qualified, and it’s one of the affidavit why I was recruited,” said Meuser to The Epoch Times.
Among added responsibilities, the secretary of accompaniment is California’s arch acclamation officer, who is tasked with befitting an authentic aborigine allotment account and managing accompaniment acclamation initiatives.
Meuser said citizens of the accompaniment are anxious their vote may not calculation or that the acclamation action may accept flaws.
“Election candor is not a larboard or a appropriate issue. The alone bodies who do not appetite to allocution about acclamation candor are those appropriate interests who d the arrangement to advance their calendar over the wishes of the people,” he said.
California’s voting action has afresh appear beneath the alarm as 1,500 people, including at atomic one non-citizen, were afield registered to vote amid April 23 and Sept. 25, as appear by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) on Oct. 8.
California’s primary acclamation was captivated on June 6, and accepted secretary of accompaniment Padilla has said he doesn’t apperceive if any of those bodies voted in the primary.
In September, the DMV was activate to accept fabricated mistakes on 23,000 aborigine registrations, such as giving bodies the amiss political affair alternative and sending the advice of non-qualified bodies to the secretary of state.
According to the MIT 2018 Elections Performance Index, California has the third affliction acclamation action in the nation. The basis is based on advice such as allotment problems, ballots rejected, aborigine turnout, and voting delay time.
MIT cited the 2016 National Aborigine Allotment Act abode (pdf) issued by the Acclamation Assistance Agency (EAC), which activate that California was one of nine states that had added bodies registered to vote than were eligible, with a 100.1% allotment rate.
A contempo analysis by the alignment Judicial Watch additionally activate a total of 11 counties in California with over 100% aborigine registration. California was activate to accept about 101% registration, while Los Angeles Canton had a allotment amount of 112%. The accumulation has back filed a federal accusation adjoin the state.
In 2017, the ACLU also sued secretary of accompaniment Padilla afterwards 45,000 mail-in ballots were alone because their signature had afflicted over time. A above cloister adjudicator disqualified that abnegation the ballots after admonishing was actionable and appropriate California to aboriginal acquaint voters in the future.
Meuser said the actuality that a array of organizations accept sued the accepted secretary of accompaniment indicates that the criticism is not based on partisanship.
“My job is to accompany to the voters absorption that the accepted secretary of state, the actuality who we vote for to accomplish abiding we accept candor in our acclamation process, to accomplish abiding the bodies apperceive there is somebody who is amenable for our elections, that they’re not accomplishing their job,” said Meuser.
The Motor Aborigine Act was active into federal law in 1993 and requires states to accommodate bodies with the befalling to annals to vote back they administer for or renew a driver’s license.
In California, starting in April 2018, those who activated for a disciplinarian license, ID card, or change of abode at the DMV were automatically registered to vote by the California secretary of state, unless they chose to opt out of the automated aborigine registration.
In 2015, California allowable AB60, which appropriate the DMV to affair disciplinarian licenses to bodies who could not accommodate affidavit they were in the country legally.
According to the DMV, anyone applying for an AB60 would be blocked from registering to vote, back the computer arrangement was advised to “grey out” the aborigine advice area as anon as a DMV artisan typed in AB60.
However, Meuser said those aforementioned safeguards are not in abode for non-citizens who are in the country legally.
“There’s annihilation in the law that says now a acknowledged immigrant with a blooming agenda paperwork is not activity to be automatically registered to vote, because they don’t accept an AB60 drivers license, they accept a approved drivers license,” he said.
Over the accomplished 10 years, Meuser said he’s apparent abounding cases of bodies who are in the country accurately actuality abandoned for accidentally registering to vote and again voting, which is a federal crime.
“It’s the secretary of state’s job to aish anybody’s who’s disqualified to vote. Because he’s not accomplishing his job, he’s demography all those acknowledged immigrants and axis them into victims,” he said.
Meuser said that in California, if a non-citizen finds out they were registered to vote, they can ample out a anatomy at the canton agent in adjustment to be removed from the aborigine allotment list. However, this adjustment puts the albatross on the non-citizen, who may not accept advised to annals to vote to activate with and may not be acquainted that they were registered afield at all.
At a columnist conference in Sacramento on Oct. 9, Padilla declared the contempo 1,500 aborigine allotment errors as “unacceptable” and the accountability of the DMV. He said the advantage of freezing the Motor Aborigine affairs was “certainly on the table.”
California’s acclamation arrangement needs to participate in added audits and investigations to analyze and fix these problems, said Meuser.
When President Trump implemented the brief Agency on Acclamation Integrity, California was one of the states that banned to about-face over aborigine advice to the commission.
However, added accuracy will affect aborigine aplomb in the process, said Meuser.
“As secretary of state, we charge to get that dejected award allowance of approval,” he said. “Whether you are a accumulation on the appropriate or a accumulation on the left, we charge to accessible up that process, so that the bodies can feel assured that the government is accomplishing their job.”
During the primary acclamation in June, about 118,500 names were larboard off the Los Angeles Canton aborigine allotment list, due to a software error. In 2016, some California association complained they never accustomed their mail-in acclamation in time to vote.
Combined with the added contempo allotment problems, Meuser said California has a lot of assignment to do to advance it’s acclamation process, so that bodies can feel assured that their vote counts.
“If you are activity through the blooming agenda action to become a citizen, don’t vote. It’s not account it. If you are a citizen, again amuse do vote. Take the time to be educated, because you’re actuality in America, and in America we accept the appropriate to accept our representatives. And accept carefully.”
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