Skid row voter fraud case raises questions about other kinds of voter fraud in California

The unsettling results of the midterm vote in Orange County, where all seven congressional seats turned blue, several reversing direction as the votes were counted, has drawn attention to the potential for voter fraud in California.

And well, here's some from Fox News:

An alleged voter fraud scheme in which Skid Row’s homeless were being offered money and cigarettes in exchange for “false and forged signatures” on ballot petitions and registration documents has been uncovered in Los Angeles, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office says it is charging nine people in total with felony counts related to the offenses, which are said to have happened during the 2016 and 2018 election cycles.

“The defendants are accused of engaging in the solicitation of hundreds of false and/or forged signatures on state ballot petitions and voter registration forms by allegedly offering homeless people $1 and/or cigarettes for their participation,” a statement from the attorney’s office reads.

The charges, it added, include “circulating a petition with false names; use of false names on a petition; voter fraud, registering a fictitious person; and voter fraud, registering a nonexistent person.”

The Times hastens to dismiss it as non-political as the bums and the people charged with the voter fraud were doing what they did for money. But well, someone wanted those petitions to get signatures and was willing to pay, so someone benefitted. Color me skeptical about the whole thing being non-political.

The fact that this instance was apparently less politically charged than other forms of voter fraud is probably why it made the news at all. The kind that really bother us - such as registering dead people, registering illegal immigrants, registering people with more than one name or in more than one county, are remarkably out of the news, but not because nothing is going on.

According to the California Secretary of State's office, those kinds of fraud, (except for the most disturbing crime of registration of non-citizens, which is not mentioned), are "common" types of electoral violations. See here.

The petition-signer scandal is certainly in that category.

What's more, the Department of Motor Vehicles' switched party affiliations certainly amounts to another one of those listed common violations.

So we certainly have seen some of these things, call them the low-hanging fruit.

Meanwhile, individual registrars have exposed some other localized problems, such as those outlined by Republican candidate Young Kim, which got her Democratic opponent, Gil Cedillo, rebuked:

So more serious kinds of fraud at individual local levels go on still.

But then there are some bigger issues - there's last year's charge from Judicial Watch that the electoral voter rolls are not being properly maintained, resulting in more registered voters on the rolls in 11 counties than people who live in these places. The rationale seems to be that the Secretary of State keeps both active and inactive voter lists, and sometimes the inactive voters show up. The San Diego Union dismisses this as a nothingburger in its fact-check report, as does the California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, but neither seem to understand that such inactive lists could be misused. Could those inactive lists be sources for all the "found" ballots that in the post-election game turned Orange County blue? Judicial Watch supposedly has a lawsuit it plans to file to try to find out why the lists aren't being maintained.

Padilla, in fact, ought to be on the hot seat for not maintaining voter lists, but somehow isn't. He's actually successfully convinced the media that anyone asking any questions about the matter is only interested in "voter suppression," which is quite a narrative shift. Not only is he not on the hot seat, he's getting away with drawing a curtain over the whole problem, given that he's refused to provide information to President Trump's panel on the integrity of the voter rolls. According to the SDU-T and Los Angeles Times report:

Padilla has now twice rejected the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity’s request for voter data, joining a number of other states, and it’s unclear what the special panel will do to obtain the information.

All one can surmise from it, is that maybe he's hiding something. Why are California's top electoral officials so opposed to any transparency?

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