LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Millions of California ballots have been delivered to residents across the state as early voting begins for the 2020 general election, but some have gone to people who should no longer be registered to vote in the state, one group claims.

A new study from the Election Integrity Project California has found that close to 400,000 ballots have been sent to people who moved or died.

“The fear is that people who are dishonest could vote those ballots and attempt to get them counted,” said Evelyn Swenson, who works with the organization. “What kind of confidence to the people of California have in the system when they’re getting ballots from their deceased loved one 10 years ago or someone who never lived there or someone who moved 10 years ago? That hurts the confidence in the election.”

CBS2 investigative reporter David Goldstein connected with several people who said that they received ballots for people who haven’t lived at their addresses for decades.

One ballot sent to Margaret Richards in Sherman Oaks, but moved to Tennessee 16 years ago. Richards said the fact that these ballots are being sent out worries her and makes her question the integrity of the election.

“It just is very unfortunate,” she said. “Think about how many people who have moved, and the same thing is happening over and over. How do you trust the system?”

Richards isn’t the only one. Monrovia resident Pam Harnden said she received ballots for the people who sold her her home 15 years ago. They now live in Texas.

“Whenever there’s an election of some sort, I get all the paperwork,” she said. “It’s really a shame because it’s, what, going on 15 years and they haven’t taken these people off the voter rolls?”

The L.A. County Registrar said that “a voter record is made inactive only when mail sent to the voter is returned undeliverable from the post office or through notification of a change of address. If you get a ballot in the mail not addressed to you, mark it return to sender. Voter no longer lives there.”

Harnden said she has done that every year, and she still receives them.

“Like a bad penny,” she said.

To protect the integrity of ballots, the registrar’s office said they are subject to signature verification and are checked statewide to see if someone may have voted twice. However, if someone voted in another state, it is more difficult to find out.

Comments (19)
  1. Kathy L Gardner says:

    Yep. I just received a ballot for my late husband. He’s been dead for 14 years and never received election ballots and materials since his death. Wow! What information is LA County Registrar using for mailing these ballots?

  2. Carol Colin says:

    This story promotes fear and distrust of the election process. How did the EIPC arrive at the “close to 400,000” ballots sent in error? The story should have included that information. The EIPC says “the fear is” that dishonest people will try to vote ballots received in error. The question then should be, does that happen? Quick Google search, “voter fraud”, the Heritage Foundation has a list of about 45 people convicted of voter fraud in California going back to 1993. Wow, 45 dishonest people caught in 27 years. Voter fraud is a myth. The story should have included that information. I was a poll worker for more than 12 years. In my experience election officials are dedicated and hard-working. Every team of poll workers I’ve been on has been dedicated and honest. There are typos and other kinds of mistakes in the voter rolls because it is a human generated data base. Every precinct turns in information on errors found in every election. I would submit that most are corrected. But of those that are not, (more human error), almost no voter fraud results. The story should have included that information. In a time of fear and frustration, with voting already in progress in a major election, It is extremely unfortunate that you would broadcast such an incomplete, misleading story. And in the last paragraph of this print version, above, the word you’re looking for is “protect”, not protest. The L.A. County Registrar is in the business of protecting the vote, and they do a good job.

  3. Jolat says:

    And this is why, we show up to vote. Absentee by request. Anyone who thinks treating our election like the publishers clearing house and mail your vote today is a fool. We should be voting the way we’ve done for decades. 99% survival rate for Covid. The panic is a lie. We can shop, work, we can vote. I hope this backfires on them and every politician who pushed this nonsense loses their seat.

  4. Gary Mallinger says:

    How else will Pelosi, Watters, etc get elected?

  5. Ken says:

    In Cali, the dems will cheat their way into power.

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