23,000 California DMV voter-registration fails, and we're not supposed to worry about illegals voting

In an issue the press suggests we shouldn't be too concerned about, the California Department of Motor Vehicles says it's screwed up 23,000 voter registrations based on its stewardship of the state's automatic voting registration system, known as its motor-voter law.

According to the Los Angeles Times:

Tens of thousands of Californians have been registered to vote incorrectly by the state Department of Motor Vehicles, including some who were assigned the wrong political party preference, officials said Wednesday.

Officials insist the errors were limited to 23,000 of the 1.4 million voter registration files sent to elections offices between late April, when California's new automated "motor voter" system went into effect, and early August.  Californians who were affected will soon receive notifications in the mail instructing them to check their voter registration status.

Hey, we know what your first question was, and both the DMV and the press assure that none of them was an illegal.  They aren't too sure what happened, which is why they are telling everyone to check his own registration, but they are...sure there were no illegals.  This, despite the origins of the problem they described: that DMV officials left old screens up, and the information from the previous clients was sent to the state on behalf of the clients who followed.  Why that couldn't possibly include illegals was not a topic of inquiry for either the Los Angeles Times or the Sacramento Bee, which covered this issue.  Illegals, see, wouldn't dream of registering to vote, nor would any of the Democrats running the DMV out in the one-party precincts ever dream of registering them, right?

If there is any truth in this just being a matter of classifications gone wrong, with no illegals involved, none of them is saying how he actually would know.  Never mind that uncomfortable detail about the DMV being suddenly tasked with both issuing drivers licenses to illegals and registering voters – in a one-party state.  We're just supposed to trust them on this.

Here is something else we are supposed to trust them on: the direction of the switched parties of motor-voter clients.  No one from the press thought to ask whether those motor-voters got disproportionately registered as Democrat, which is the second question readers are going to have.  We're just supposed to think it was random.  Color me skeptical.  What's telling is that the information was withheld in the reports.

Here's another mix-up where I know I was affected, one of the 23,000: mail-in preferences were screwed up, so I ended up with a mail-in ballot I didn't ask for last June.  Why do I oppose mail-in ballots?  Because I don't like my ballot, with its obviously Republican-looking return address, passing through multiple hands via the leftist and loss-prone Post Office.  I'd rather dump it into a voter station ballot box to cut the middlemen and reduce the odds of mishandling or, worse still, manipulation in the hands of a party that's famous for that.

The DMV would have us believe that this was a tiny screw-up affecting a "mere" 23,000 registrations.  But with elections decided on 1,000- or sometimes even 20-vote margins these days, 23,000, alongside all the illegals illegally registered (we know they are in this state) suggests potential to swing an election.  Little problem?  In this era?  Sorry, not buying.

How much do these DMV bunglers make?  Average salary, according to Payscale, is $50,000 a year, including the zero-college crowd at the customer service windows.  More likely, it's $98,000, given that that's the average pay of the people who serve as "government program managers," government being the people who interact with the secretary of state over at the voter registration operation.

The best-case scenario we have right now is that the DMV, despite its bloated salaries, is incapable of running a motor-voter registration program that's not its core mission.  That whole registration idea is a bad one, given that it's supposed to bullyrag people who can't be bothered to register to vote to register, which inevitably means Democrat.  Couple that with issuing drivers licenses to illegals, another Democrat hobbyhorse, and what could go wrong?

Here's the other thing: the downplaying of the problem by the DMV, and the unwillingness of the press to ask questions, has some creepy precedents from the recent past.  Didn't Lois Lerner first get her name in the news apologizing for a minor "customer service" problem around the issue of Tea Party groups obtaining their tax-exempt status, based on the blunderings of its faceless bureaucratic bunglers out in the Cincinnati office?  We soon learned that the little mistake and omission was something else.

That's the sense I have with this admission of minor guilt from the DMV and the somewhat incurious press.  It's telling that the DMV just weaseled out of an audit of its delay times just a month ago, with a little help from just three Democrats in the state Senate.

Now we have bigger problems.  Color me unsurprised if this turns out bigger than it looks.

Image credit: Vince via Flickr  CC BY-SA 2.0.

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