Dear Secretary Padilla:
From public records obtained on the Election Assistance Commission (“EAC”) 2016 Election Administration Voting Survey (“EAVS”), and through verbal accounts from various county agencies, eleven (11) counties in California have more total registered voters than citizen voting age population (CVAP) calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011-2015 American Community Survey. This is strong circumstantial evidence that California municipalities are not conducting reasonable voter registration list maintenance as mandated under the NVRA.
This letter serves as statutory notice that Election Integrity Project California, Inc., a registered non-profit corporation in California, and Judicial Watch, Inc., will bring a lawsuit against you and, if appropriate, against the counties named in this letter, if you do not take specific actions to correct these violations of Section 8 within 90 days.
The following information explains how we determined that your state and the counties named are in violation of NVRA Section 8 and the remedial steps that must be taken to comply with the law.
1. Eleven California Counties Have More Total Registered Voters Than Citizen Voting Age Population
Based on our review of 2016 EAC EAVS report, the 2011-2015 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and the most recent California total active and total inactive voter registration records, California is failing to comply with the voter registration list maintenance requirements of Section 8 of the NVRA. For example, a comparison of the 2011-2015 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and the most recent California active and inactive voter registration records shows there were more total registered voters than there were adults over the age of 18 living in each of the following eleven (11) counties: Imperial (102%), Lassen (102%), Los Angeles (112%), Monterey (104%), San Diego (138%), San Francisco (114%), San Mateo (111%), Santa Cruz (109%), Solano (111%), Stanislaus (102%), and Yolo (110%). Our own research shows that the situation in these counties is, if anything, worse than the foregoing data suggest. For example, we contacted Los Angeles County directly this past June. At that time, county officials informed us that the total number of registered voters now stands at a number that is a whopping 144% of the total number of resident citizens of voting age.
2. The NVRA Requires You to Undertake Reasonable Efforts to Maintain Accurate Lists of Eligible Registered Voters
3. Failure to Comply with NVRA Subjects You to Lawsuits and Financial Costs
In passing the NVRA, Congress authorized a private right of action to enforce the provisions of the NVRA, including Section 8. Accordingly, private persons may bring a lawsuit under the NVRA if the violations identified herein are not corrected within 90 days of receipt of this letter.
4. Avoiding Litigation
We hope you will promptly initiate efforts to comply with Section 8 so that no lawsuit will be necessary. We ask you and, to the extent that they wish to respond separately, each county identified in this letter, to please respond to this letter in writing no later than 30 days from today informing us of the compliance steps you are taking. Specifically, we ask you to: (1) conduct or implement a systematic, uniform, nondiscriminatory program to remove from the list of eligible voters the names of persons who have become ineligible to vote by reason of a change in residence; and (2) conduct or implement additional routine measures to remove from the list of eligible voters the names of persons who have become ineligible to vote by reason of death, change in residence, or a disqualifying criminal conviction, and to remove noncitizens who have registered to vote unlawfully.
5. Production of Records
Finally, pursuant to your obligations under the NVRA,15 your office and, to the extent that they keep records separately from your office, each county named in this letter, should make available to us all pertinent records concerning “the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency” of California’s official eligible voter lists during the past 2 years. Please include these records with your response to this letter.
I hope that the concerns identified in this letter can be resolved amicably. However, if we believe you do not intend to correct the above-identified problems, a federal lawsuit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against you may be necessary. We look forward to receiving your prompt response.
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
s/ Robert D. Popper
Robert D. Popper
Attorney, Judicial Watch, Inc.