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California and Los Angeles County have agreed to clean up their voting rolls after a lawsuit revealed that more than 1.5 million inactive registered names could be invalid. Los Angeles County alone has a registration rate of 112 percent of its population of adult U.S. citizens.
Government accountability group Judicial Watch won a settlement with the state and county last week in its lawsuit aimed at forcing officials to comply with requirements under the National Voter Registration Act.
Federal law dictates that the names of voters who have died, moved away, or are otherwise unaccounted for be scrubbed after two general elections — but Judicial Watch found that “neither the State of California nor Los Angeles County had been removing inactive voters from the voter registration rolls for the past 20 years.”
Judicial Watch also noted that “eleven of California’s 58 counties have registration rates exceeding 100 percent of the age-eligible citizenry.”
“This settlement vindicates Judicial Watch’s groundbreaking lawsuits to clean up state voter rolls to help ensure cleaner elections,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “Judicial Watch and its clients are thrilled with this historic settlement that will clean up election rolls in Los Angeles County and California — and set a nationwide precedent to ensure that states take reasonable steps to ensure that dead and other ineligible voters are removed from the rolls.”
Meanwhile, the Sacramento Bee reported that the state of California can’t confirm whether or not noncitizens were able to vote in the June 2018 primary elections because of a snafu by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The Bee uncovered the California secretary of state’s ongoing investigation into the matter after filing a legal complaint demanding internal records surrounding the situation, which Fresno Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R) called “the unraveling of a cover-up.”
California isn’t the first state Judicial Watch has forced to comply with voter roll management requirements under the NVRA and likely won’t be the last. The watchdog group has reached similar agreements with Ohio and Indiana, won a court order in Kentucky last year, and is currently in litigation with the state of Maryland.