A new California policy set to go into effect on April 1 could potentially register a massive number of illegal immigrants to vote.
The policy would automatically register adults who obtain or renew a driver's license to vote unless drivers who claim to be legal "opt out." But, since 2015, California has granted illegal immigrants driver's licenses. Thus far, some 1 million illegals have taken advantage and obtained such a license. According to Fox News, under the new policy, "anyone who already has a valid license and applies for renewal in person or by mail could potentially be added to the voter registration rolls by claiming they are legal."
"You're setting the state up for a disaster," said True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht. "They don’t seem to have a process in place to verify that people are who they say they are. It’s a free-for-all, a process that can be manipulated."
Engelbrecht's organization unsuccessfully pressured Democratic Governor Jerry Brown to veto the law.
Linda Paine, who cofounded a nonpartisan organization called Election Integrity Project of California, is also worried about potential fraud.
"There are thousands and thousands of DMV workers across our huge state," Paine told Fox. "They’re not all trained. There's no actual protection to prevent noncitizens from being added to voter rolls. It’s not even that people who are ineligible want to be registered. They may not know that they have to select 'Opt out.'"
But California Secretary of State Alex Padilla maintains that illegal immigrants ineligible to vote "obtain a special driver’s license that notes on it 'Federal limits apply.'"
"When asked for specific examples of such safeguards, Padilla did not immediately provide them," notes Fox.
"As is already required by federal law, anyone who registers to vote at the DMV must attest under penalty of perjury that they meet eligibility requirements — including citizenship. Moreover, under state law, the DMV is prohibited from sending to the Secretary of State any information from persons who apply for an AB60 California driver license," said a spokesperson for Padilla via a statement.
Kathay Feng, executive director of nonpartisan voting rights advocacy group California Common Cause (CCC), said she's confident there will not be widespread fraud. "There’s a real interest [by all parties] in making sure that there are clear signals when people are filling out a DMV form," she told Fox. "They’re asked if they’re 18, if they’re U.S. citizens. They don’t move on to the voter registration if they’re not eligible."
Disputing this assurance by Feng, a retired special agent in charge of ICE in Los Angeles with 27 years' experience, Claude Arnold, said he and his agents "routinely caught people trying to cross the border with fake voter registration cards."
There’s an "interest" in illegally registering to vote, he told Fox.