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Federal court orders California to remove 1.5 million inactive registered voters
California's Democratic elected officials in Los Angeles County reluctantly agreed to remove more than 1.5 million inactive voters from their vot ...
Friday, January 04, 2019
by Clinton Gillespie

California's Democratic elected officials in Los Angeles County reluctantly agreed to remove more than 1.5 million inactive voters from their voter rolls. California's elected officials signed a settlement agreement to bring the state into alignment with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

In the agreement, signed by th U.S. District Court Judge Manuel L. Real, California agreed they would establish procedures that will make a reasonable effort to remove persons from the voter list who have become ineligible, including death or change of residence.

The state agreed to send by mail a confirmation request to those who failed to vote for at least two federal general elections. After sending voters a confirmation request, the voter will be removed by February 19, 2019 if they fail to respond or ammend their voter registration record.

State officials defended their practice of keeping voters on the rolls, even if they did not vote, by claiming that the NVRA did not mandate the voters' removal from the list. The Court affirmed the NRVA mandated the removal of inactive voters. The state agreed to inform all counties in California that inactive voters must be removed from the rolls if they become inactive if they fail to vote in two general federal elections.

According to Los Angeles County, with a population over 10 million residents, there are 1,565,000 registrations in their inactive file of registered voters.

Justice Watch led the lawsuit as part of their effort to purge inactive voters from voter rolls across the country.

In its lawsuit, Judicial Watch claimed:

-- 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.

California agreed not to appeal the settlement agreement and agreed to become transparent about their voter removal process by reporting every January to Justice Watch with an accurate number of voters who have been become inactive and purged. Tom Fitton, the president of Justice Watch, said in a statement that their lawsuit "goes a long way to cleaning up election rolls in California and will have a major impact nationwide."

The case is Judicial Watch, Inc., et al. v. Dean C. Logan, et al. (No. 2:17-cv-08948).

Clinton Gillespie is editor

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