California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson last Friday issued this news release explaining his plans to introduce legislation that will address the problems that have cropped up with California's voter registration database.
County registrars throughout the state are finding that a high number of new registration applications are being rejected. This is due to a combination of factors. The federal Help America Vote Act includes provisions, which were codified in state law last year (SB 1016/Bowen), requiring a driver's license or last four digits of the Social Security number be used when people register to vote and also requires the applications be verified. In addition, a recent agreement between the Secretary of State and the Department of Justice requires an exact name match between the registration name and DMV name in the verification process (see this Nov. 2, 2005 news release from the Secretary of State for more details).
Tomorrow Senator Debra Bowen, chair of the Senate Elections Committee will hold a hearing at the State Capitol to examine the registration process. It is scheduled to take place in Room 4203 at either 9:30 a.m. or upon adjournment of the Senate. For more details on this issue, see Ryan Huff's article in yesterday's San Jose Mercury News.