California and LA County to Remove 1.5 Million Inactive Voters from Voter Rolls

By Michael W. Chapman | January 3, 2019 | 3:13 PM EST

(Getty Images)

( -- The government watchdog group Judicial Watch announced today that it had reached a settlement with the State of California and Los Angeles County that requires them to remove 1.5 million inactive voters from their voter registration rolls, as required under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). 

“This settlement vindicates Judicial Watch’s groundbreaking lawsuits to clean up state voter rolls to help ensure cleaner elections,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a Jan. 3 press release.

“Judicial Watch and its clients are thrilled with this historic settlement that will clean up election rolls in Los Angeles County and California – and set a nationwide precedent to ensure that states take reasonable steps to ensure that dead and other ineligible voters are removed from the rolls," he said.

(Getty Images)

Judicial Watch filed its voter-rolls lawsuit in December 2017. In the case, the group was aided by the Election Integrity Project California, Inc. and the law firm Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk. 

In the lawsuit, Judicial Watch alleged the following:

  • "Los Angeles County has more voter registrations on its voter rolls than it has citizens who are old enough to register.  Specifically, according to data provided to and published by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Los Angeles County has a registration rate of 112 percent of its adult citizen population.
  • "The entire State of California has a registration rate of about 101 percent of its age-eligible citizenry.
  • "Eleven of California’s 58 counties have registration rates exceeding 100 percent of the age-eligible citizenry."

"The lawsuit confirmed that Los Angeles County has on its rolls more than 1.5 million potentially ineligible voters," said Judicial Watch. "This means that more than one out of every five LA County registrations likely belongs to a voter who has moved or is deceased."

Judicial Watch also said, “Los Angeles County has the highest number of inactive registrations of any single county in the country.” 

Neither California nor Los Angeles County had been removing inactive voters from its voter registration rolls for the last 20 years.

The settlement now requires that "all of the 1.5 million potentially ineligible registrants to be notified and asked to respond," explained Judicial Watch.  "If there is no response, those names are to be removed as required by the NVRA."

In addition, "California Secretary of State [Alex] Padilla also agrees to update the State’s online NVRA manual to make clear that ineligible names must be removed and to notify each California county that they are obligated to do this," reported Judicial Watch.  "This should lead to cleaner voter rolls statewide."

The watchdog group previously reached settlements in similar cases in Ohio (in 2014) and in Kentucky (in 2018). 

Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman

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