Illegals in California with Driver's Licenses Eligible to Vote After April 1

Starting on April 1, 2018, illegal aliens in California who have recently obtained state driver's licenses legally, or obtained them previously by lying about their immigration status, will automatically be registered to vote.  Since January 2015, according to the California DMV, A.B. 60, a law passed by the California Assembly, "allows illegal immigrants to the United States to apply for a California driver's license with the CA Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)" [emphasis original].  As of December 2016, more than 800,000 California driver's licenses were issued to illegal aliens under the A.B. 60 law. Additional thousands of illegals may have been granted licenses prior to 2015 because they lied on their driver's license application forms and claimed they were in the country legally.  (No proof of legal residence has been required by the California DMV in recent years.)

An editorial in the Victorville Daily Press on January 22 summarized the situation:

According to the [s]ecretary of [s]tate's website, in order to vote in California one must be at least 18 years old, a United States citizen[,] and a resident of California.

But a court settlement Jan. 10 in response to a suit filed by the League of Women Voters [and several other groups including The National Council of La Raza] may have pushed open the door to rampant voter fraud in this state.  That's because under the settlement, starting in April the Department of Motor Vehicles will automatically register to vote all those who renew their driver's licenses unless they opt out.

California Political Review and Courthouse News first broke the story of illegals being allowed to vote starting this spring on January 18 in an article titled "Alert: Starting April 1 California DMV Will AUTOMATICALLY Register Illegal Aliens to Vote – by COURT ORDER":

The program is part of [A.B.] 1461, dubbed the California New Motor Voter Act.  Signed into law in October 2015, the new statute requires the DMV to forward records for all eligible applicants to the Secretary of State's Office for registration unless those applicants elect not to register to vote.

As of this writing, WND, claiming an "exclusive," is the only major publication to have highlighted this development in a brief story on January 21, "California to register illegal aliens to vote – automatically."

On October 11, 2015, the day after California governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1461 into law, the Washington Times, in an article titled "California motor-voter law will flood rolls with noncitizens, critics predict," indeed predicted what is now coming to pass two and a half years later:

A bill signed Saturday by California [g]ov. Jerry Brown aimed at improving voter turnout has critics predicting that it will ramp up voter fraud by making it easier for noncitizens to cast ballots.

The New Motor Voter Act automatically registers to vote all eligible voters when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses at the Department of Motor Vehicles instead of requiring them to fill out a form.  Those eligible may opt out of voter registration.

The goal is to ease barriers to voting, but election-integrity advocates warn that the measure could inadvertently add millions of illegal voters to the rolls given that California allows undocumented [i.e., illegal] aliens to obtain driver's licenses.

The move to legalize non-citizen – including "undocumented" residents' – voting is slowly spreading nationwide.  In 2016, immigrant activists in New York City endorsed a legislative proposal to allow immigrants residing in the city – legal or not – the right to vote in local elections.  In reporting the story, the New York Post estimated that 500,000 illegal aliens reside in New York City.  This change has not yet been formally approved, however.  Meanwhile, according to Newsweek (September 13, 2017), "Immigrants Are Getting the Right to Vote in Cities Across America."  The occasion for Newsweek's article was the decision last year by the Washington, D.C. suburb of College Park, Maryland to allow non-citizens, including illegals, to vote.

Several other cities in Maryland already allow noncitizens to vote locally.  Chicago and San Francisco also offer limited noncitizen voting.  The trend runs counter to the anti-immigration sentiment in many areas of the country, but supporters say residents of cities and towns should have a say in how their government operates, whether they are citizens or not.

The success of left-wing groups supporting the expansion of illegal alien "rights" to include voting has also been reflected in the government shutdown of recent days.  According to an analysis of "this stunning display of political leverage" by illegal alien "DREAMers" by the Washington Times on January 21:

Democrats called it the Trump shutdown.  Republicans labeled it the Schumer shutdown.  But in reality, it was the [DREAM]er shutdown.

The recipe for the current congressional gridlock is complex, but at the top of the list of ingredients are the illegal [alien] [DREAM]ers who pushed Democrats to launch the filibuster that sent the government careening into a partial shutdown.

The political muscle demonstrated by illegals reflected in the national political debate is being increasingly taken note of.  The complementary impact of millions of them potentially voting legally in U.S. elections in the near term is less apparent, but it deserves our serious attention for what it portends.

Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran reporter and analyst of news on national politics, media, and popular culture.  In addition to his writing, Peter has appeared as a guest commentator on NBC; PBS; the CBC; and, on January 4, 2018, the BBC.  For announcements and links to a wide selection of Peter's published work, follow him on Twitter at @pchowka.

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