New round of DMV ‘motor voter’ errors reported

One of Gavin Newsom’s first acts after taking office as governor in January was to create a “DMV Reinvention Strike Team” to improve the performance of the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

This came after one of the worst years a state agency has had in recent history. In August 2018, CalWatchdog and many other news outlets reported that wait times were nearly 50 percent longer at DMV offices than the previous summer. The problem was blamed on a heavy increase in visits caused by the federal 2005 Real ID Act. It requires Californians to have either passports or new federal ID cards before they can take commercial flights starting in October 2020. The DMV is the agency that issues the Real IDs.

A month later, another scandal emerged, with thousands of thousands of voters reporting errors in their political party affiliation due to mistakes made in the DMV’s new “motor voter” automatic registration program, which began in April 2018. An audit released in August of this year found the problem was far worse than initially believed, with more than a quarter-million errors in registration in the first five months of the program – 83,684 duplicate voter registrations and 171,145 DMV records with inconsistencies on party membership.

Newsom’s “strike team” issued its report in July on what it had done to fix the agency and said internal data showed a reduction in wait teams of 58 minutes over the previous summer. Two weeks ago, the DMV issued a statement saying that wait times had continued to decline and averaged 38 minutes in September. 

But now the DMV’s other 2018 problem has re-emerged with reports in Northern California of pervasive errors in motor voter registrations, prompting Republican lawmakers to renew their call to put the program on hold until its flaws are comprehensively fixed.

At least 600 complaints so far; number could soar

“At least 600 Californians, including lifelong Republicans and Democrats, have had their voter registration unexpectedly changed, and several county elections officials are pinning much of the blame on the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles,” the Sacramento Bee reported. The daughter of California Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove of Bakersfield, who had recently used a Sacramento County DMV office, was among those affected. Grove is a leading critic of motor voter.

Sacramento CBS 13’s news team reported at least 300 apparent complaints in Santa Clara County, nearly 200 in Sacramento County and at least 100 in Shasta County.

Reports noted that it’s possible that some of the mistakes were made by voters themselves not used to election services at DMV and that some voters may have misremembered what party status they had chosen previously. But as CBS 13 reported, problems appeared to be turning up in every county as soon as registrars began sending out voter notifications related to the March primary. With El Dorado County sending out notifications last Friday and dozens of counties doing so in coming weeks, the dimensions of the problem could be far bigger than initially assumed – just like last year.

Oregon, which introduced its version of motor voter in January 2016, has had far fewer problems.

Californians can check how they are presently registered at and they can change their status if needed at


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  1. Bonnie Butcher Raisin
    Bonnie Butcher Raisin 16 December, 2019, 11:29

    The DMV is so bloated with employees many untrained. This is typical of government agencies whose employees are not held accountable.

    Reply this comment
    • Joe
      Joe 18 December, 2019, 19:25

      Ah, come on…I’m sure our rulers will tell us it’s nothing that yet another tax increase can’t solve.

      Reply this comment
  2. Queeg
    Queeg 17 December, 2019, 09:28


    The STATE is in COMMAND. Be respectful-

    Reply this comment
  3. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 18 December, 2019, 20:09

    You best buy some packing boxes from us real soon……

    The impeach saga portends your likely future……of the arbitrary and scary unpredictable, most anything dealing with your doomer existence.

    Oh….never happen to you…..well….could your # be coming up-

    Reply this comment
  4. edryan221
    edryan221 16 January, 2020, 09:41

    Questions The LA Times Won’t Ask or Cover, From Ed Ryan Mayor LA 2022 For the Democratic Candidates Coming To LA For The California Presidential Primary on Super Tuesday.

    Does Senator Bernie Sanders , Agree that LAPD Vigilante Racist Hate Crimes on LA Homeless Needs No Investigation by Fellow Democrat AG Becerra, and Will Biden Tell LA Times Editors to Question Cal. AG Becerra Directly and Report Why his Office Uses the Non-Transparent Dis-Information “Will Not Confirm or Deny Policy” to Hide the Fact that His Office is Refusing to Investigate the 8/1/18 WRAP LAPD Crime-buster Vigilante Complaint?

    Did Bernie Sanders Know LA Mayor Garcetti Supports the LAPD Crime buster Vigilantes Doing Racist Hate Crimes Done Onto The LA Homeless as is evident about Mayor Garcetti’s Refusal to criticize the LAPD and Say Totally nothing about from the Vigilante And LAPD Facebook Postings Intercepted By Screen Shot from the Secret LAPD Vigilante Facebook Group Whose Membership includes 2 LAPD Deputy Chiefs And 10 LAPD SLO Officer, Along with A LAPD Watch Commander and a LA Deputy City Prosecutor, indicating that LA City Attorney Feuer Has LA City Neighborhood Prosecutors in all 10 of the LA’s other LAPD Crime buster Facebook Groups Across LA, And That These LA City Prosecutors Knowingly Use False LAPD Police Reports To Convict And Incarcerate Homeless Victims And LA Political Advocates Who Fight Back in Self Defense against LAPD Vigilantes who Did Racist Hate Crimes And Terror Community Stalking on them For two Years, Starting in 2016 and Ending on 8/1/18 When WRAP Filed A 75 page in-depth Complaint with California Attorney General Becerra, a Fellow Democrat, Who Has Since Failed To Investigate That Complaint and The LA Times News-Paper Will not Ask Becerra The Reason Why His Office has Refused To Investigate, and That No Investigation By Becerra and No Questions to the Silent Garcetti and to Becerra Covers Up The LAPD Racist Hate Crimes and The Organized Vigilante Gang Stalking of The LA Homeless By the LAPD Vigilantes That is Know to be Happening from the information contained in the Facebook Posting Dialog Between LAPD Officers and Vigilantes That are and Included in the WRAP Complaint, and on page 28 of that complaint in a Facebook posting by SLO Dinse He States that Kevin Perelman is Being released from court and his posting is answered by a posting from a Vigilante Ms. Fishman is watching the Perelman Vehicle preparing to to Gang Stalk Perelman, a hated Political Advocate with a Website that exposes the LAPD Crimebuster Vigilante Gang stalking and that Web site so much needs to be shut down that The Topanga Neighborhood Prosecutor Atty Philips who Rigged A Jury Trial In Van Nuys Superior Court when Ex DA Judge Hamman Allowed Her to Use 4 Witnesses, all who Belonged to the Same LAPD Vigilante Crime Buster Group, and That California Attorney General And Fellow Democrat Xavier Becerra, Now Refuses To Investigate The 8/1/18 WRAP Agency Complaint About That LAPD Crimebuster Vigilante Group. thus Allowing LAPD Vigilantes to Continue Corrupting the LA Courts and Doing Racist Hate Crime Onto Targeted Homeless., Bottom Line ,. Does Joe Biden Support All This, and Does Joe Biden Support The LA Times As It Refuses To Ask Garcetti, His California Campaign Chairman , Why The Mayor Of LA Stayed Totally Silent when people in LA were being Victimized by Brutal Racist Hate Crimes From Vigilantes Supported By The LAPD?

    Reply this comment

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Chris Reed

Chris Reed

Chris Reed is a regular contributor to Cal Watchdog. Reed is an editorial writer for U-T San Diego. Before joining the U-T in July 2005, he was the opinion-page columns editor and wrote the featured weekly Unspin column for The Orange County Register. Reed was on the national board of the Association of Opinion Page Editors from 2003-2005. From 2000 to 2005, Reed made more than 100 appearances as a featured news analyst on Los Angeles-area National Public Radio affiliate KPCC-FM. From 1990 to 1998, Reed was an editor, metro columnist and film critic at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario. Reed has a political science degree from the University of Hawaii (Hilo campus), where he edited the student newspaper, the Vulcan News, his senior year. He is on Twitter: @chrisreed99.

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