DMV bureaucracy restricting voters

November 12, 2012

Many Californians believed they had registered to vote at the Department of Motor Vehicles only to find themselves ineligible to cast a ballot on or before Election Day. [California Watch]

Since its adoption in 1995, the federal “motor voter” law, which authorizes voter registration at the DMV, has led to the mishandling of many registration forms.

Those who wished to vote but learned they were ineligible may apply for provisional ballots and hope a judge approves of them. This year, Sonoma County voters filled out 25 applications for court orders to vote and about 60 applied in Santa Cruz County, prompting the county clerk to urge potential voters to avoid registering at the DMV.

“You don’t come to me to register your car, don’t go to DMV to register to vote,” Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin told California Watch.

DMV spokesman Artemio Armenta said voters registering at the DMV must check a box on their driver’s license application and fill out a registration form on the second page.

“Sometimes people either don’t mark the box, or they don’t fill out the form,” Armenta said. “This has been the most common reason people do not get properly registered.”

Armenta added that if an applicant does not check the box, DMV technicians do not look for voter registration forms, even if they are filled out.

But, Pellerin says the DMV fails to process some applications that are filled out correctly.

“Have you ever been to the DMV?” Pellerin said. “Does it look really neat and clean and organized? Would you trust leaving a piece of paper there that it’s going to find its way to me?”

Sacramento County Registrar Jill Lavine likewise says the DMV improperly handles voter registration forms.

“There’s so many gaps in the whole thing,” LaVine said.

Would-be voters who apply for court order ballots gain approval from a judge easier in some areas than others.

Pellerin said that potential voters who merely swear under penalty of perjury that they tried to register usually receive approval from a judge in Santa Cruz County. But, LaVine said some judges deny the petitions if would-be voters do not provide proof, like a receipt from the DMV.


6 Comments

  1. jlwils says:

    There’s an easy solution to voting. If you are a property owner, a stakeholder in this country, you can vote. All other’s…sorry you are not allowed to vote!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  2. The Gimlet Eye says:

    90 million eligible American voters shunned the recent elections. [The good news is that most of those probably have few, if any, political convictions, in which case it’s good that they stayed home. The bad news is that many citizens have decided the system is so corrupt they cannot participate and, thereby, give it credibility.]

    PressTV 2012 Nov 6

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/11/06/270686/57-million-to-shun-us-election/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  3. shelworth says:

    If you’re not smart enough to figure out how to register to vote, maybe you shouldn’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 4

    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      Maybe we ALL shouldn’t. In a country governed by CRIME, what’s the point?

      Voting is worse than useless; it just enables them.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. kayaknut says:

    Since the DMV still uses Bank of America, for services, it does sound as if there are problems there, we are told BofA is so bad, but apparently not bad enough for the state to stop using them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

  5. Kevin Rice says:

    Shameful. I believe it’s a misdemeanor not to turn in voter registration forms to the county ROV. Of course, the DMV won’t be held accountable.

    You can register to vote online in about 3 minutes, and it works:
    http://registertovote.ca.gov/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

Comments are closed.