Complaint Filed by Sacramento Bee over Motor Voter Records
Last month, the Sacramento Bee submitted a records request for written communications to or from California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and his chief of staff regarding a batch of around 1,500 registration errors. Padilla’s office responded to the request with 268 pages of material, but half the pages were newsletters Padilla received from news organizations that referred to the registration errors. His office also claimed that it did not have to disclose additional material. Karl Olson, an attorney working on behalf of the Sacramento Bee, stated,
I don’t think it’s a legitimate response to a (Public Records Act) request. They’re just kind of lumping together any possible exemption that they can think of, including many that it would seem obvious could not possibly apply. … Unfortunately, it’s not that unusual that you get this kind of a … response.
The Motor Voter program has come under fire after thousands of Californians were improperly registered to vote, and it still remains unclear whether any non-citizens voted this year. The program launched earlier this year to automatically register people to vote when they visit the Department of Motor Vehicles. Padilla has declined to be interviewed regarding the matter. We will have to wait and see what the audit of the DMV reveals next year.