Melendez to introduce measure to suspend ‘New Motor Voter’ until problems resolved

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67th District Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez.

SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, announced Tuesday that she will introduce a measure next month that will call on the Governor to suspend the new motor voter provisions enacted by AB 1461 of 2015 and change it to an “opt-in” voter registration instead of “opt-out.”

“It’s careless of the Secretary of State to sponsor a bill rolling out an automatic voter registration system he knew had numerous flaws and problems,” said Melendez. “Thousands of Californians have now had their voter registrations changed through no fault of their own and its time the Secretary of State take responsibility for this failure.”

Similar to SB 57 (Bates), which recently failed passage in the Senate Elections Committee, this measure will allow the voters the choice to register when they renew their drivers license by “opting in” to the voter registration option or choosing not to change their registration at all. This past August, an LA Times article highlighted that the Department of Motor Vehicles produced almost 84,000 duplicate voter records and over 170,000 records “indicating a person’s political party but no such ‘associated designation.’” California voters are now being informed of these technical glitches when notified by the Secretary of State that they are now registered as something different.

“Automatic voter registration systems are not ready for prime-time and these mistakes are weakening the integrity of our electoral system,” Melendez said. “If the voter registration form is confusing to fill out, fix it. If the online voter registration form is confusing to figure out, fix it. Voters should not have their party preference changed because the Secretary of State can’t figure out how to make registering to vote easily understood.”

Assemblywoman Melissa A. Melendez represents the 67th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Murrieta, Menifee, Wildomar and a portion of Hemet. It also includes the Riverside County unincorporated areas of Lake Mathews, Good Hope, Nuevo, and Winchester.

Submitted by Assemblywoman Melissa A. Melendez