Despite losing in court to the ACLU, Secretary Padilla continues to argue that throwing out vote-by-mail ballots without notifying voters is an acceptable practice. It is important to note that Padilla is facing another lawsuit by the ACLU filed just a few weeks ago.
Is this the kind of behavior we would expect from a “Champion of Voting Rights?”
If you’ve voted – or are planning to vote – with a mail-in ballot, you still can not rely on your vote being counted.
That’s because county election officials may decide to throw out your ballot and not tell you about it—with the full approval from the current Secretary of State.
In March we told you about a court case against Secretary of State Alex Padilla that revealed as many as 45,000 mail-in ballots cast in the Nov. 2016 election were discarded by election officials because, in the opinion of those officials, the signature on the envelope did not match the signature on file in the voter registration system. Those voters were never notified that their ballot had been trashed and not given a chance to correct the issue.
In fact, California law says that you only have until Election Day to correct any signature problems. And Padilla isn’t interested in rectifying this practice until AFTER the primary, despite a Court Order asking him to comply beforehand.
The judge in the case commented that it was possible some people’s ballots had been getting tossed for years. For this reason, among many others, the judge ruled the process unconstitutional and ordered Secretary Padilla to – at the very least – work out a system where voters would be notified if there was a question about the signature on their mail-in ballot envelope.
But Padilla has now appealed that ruling, and as a result the ruling has been stayed, and not gone into effect. Some of the arguments used to justify the practice are downright undemocratic. Read the arguments Padilla uses to justify vote-by-mail voter suppression below:
Thus your mail-in ballot is still in danger of being tossed without you knowing it. And the appeal will not be heard until AFTER the June 5 primary. There is a slight, but unlikely chance the judge will lift the stay.
Read the ACLU’s argument against continuing the vote removal process:
Because of Secretary Padilla’s insistence on fighting the court ruling, your only way to check that your vote will be counted is to verify the status of your mail-in ballot. You can do that by calling your county elections office, or by checking at https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/#mainCont.
This action is one of several on the part of the incumbent Secretary of State to suppress the vote. While he continues to tout his plan of enrolling more voters, he not only continues to allow mail-in ballots to be tossed, he is closing polling stations and preventing those who need assistance at polling locations from receiving the help required by law. And we’ve recently learned there’s a serious bug in his motor voter system resulting in some voters being enrolled twice, with one enrollment designating them in their choice of political party and the other enrollment making them no-party preference voters – which could result in another mess during the 2020 Presidential primaries. In some cases this new system is sending multiple mail-in ballots to the same person.
I’m running for Secretary of State to ensure your mail-in ballot counts. I will fight for due process notification, such as a letter, email, phone call, etc… and an opportunity to correct any issues resulting in ballots which might be thrown away as well as a two-week period where voters can make such a correction. We need to put a stop to all of this nonsense and bring security and integrity to our voting system; that means paper ballots and 100% audit of those ballots at the polling places, secure election systems, protected and accurate lists, open-source software and publicly owned election machines.
Secretary Padilla and his legal team are fighting tooth and nail to suppress the vote here. Some of the procedures Padilla is using to administer California’s vote-by-mail process are unconstitutional. Our best hope are informed voters who want to stop such disenfranchisement from occurring in the future.
Please vote for me in the June 5 primary so we can get these problems resolved. Encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same.
Tell them you’re Running with Ruben for Major Change, and they should, too!
Thank you for your support!
Candidate for Secretary of State
“Run with Ruben for Major Change”