Election integrity in Placer County: Does your vote count?By: Jan Bell
In spite of accusations of massive voter fraud, California has only had 31 convictions for voter fraud in 17 years (2001-2018) as reported by the conservative Heritage Foundation. Republicans have claimed that California has more registered voters than there are eligible voters; however, California’s voter registration as of May 21 was 19,023,417, or 75.73 percent of the 25,119,238 eligible citizens per the Secretary of State’s statistics.
Placer County’s Election Department does an outstanding job of holding fair, transparent and secure elections. As an eligible voter (18 years of age, a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization and not in prison or on parole), you have voting rights. To view your voter’s rights which were established by our U.S. Constitution, then by five Constitutional Amendments and the California State Legislature, go to: placerelections.com/voter-bill-of-rights.
If you doubt the integrity of Placer County’s elections, you can exercise your right to observe the process as explained by the Placer County Elections Department:
“The Right to Watch Ballots Being Counted and Observe the Canvass Counting ballots is a public process. Eleven days before Election Day, the Elections Office begins opening and preparing the Vote-by-Mail ballots to be included in Election Night totals. Voters may observe this process, and for years we have invited the public to come and observe Election Night activities. Voters are also allowed to watch what goes on at the polling places on Election Day. For rules on how to be an Election Night or polling place observer, please contact the Elections Office. After Election Day, the election canvass begins. This is an internal audit required by state law to ensure the accuracy of election results. California election law allows 30 days to conduct the official canvass. During the canvass, Vote-by-Mail and provisional ballots not counted on Election Night are checked for eligibility, write-in votes are tallied, the number of ballots cast is balanced against the number of ballots issued, and a hand count of 1 percent of all ballots cast in each race is performed to verify the machine count. All aspects of the canvass are open to public inspection.”
To register to vote you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number or your California Driver’s License number. Social Security numbers are checked for authenticity against the Social Security database and non-citizen driver’s licenses are not valid to register to vote — which dispels the myth that thousands of illegal immigrants are voting in California.
Since your vote DOES count, vote Nov. 6. The last day to register to vote is Monday, Oct. 22. To register to vote, check your voter registration status, re-register (change of address, name change, or to change party affiliation) or report voter fraud go to: registertovote.ca.gov.
What is a more pertinent question about election integrity, is how does California choose its electors? Our Electoral College voting process determines how our president is finally chosen. In 2000 and 2016, the candidate who won the popular vote (Al Gore and Hillary Clinton) lost the election to the candidate who won the Electoral College vote (George W. Bush and Donald Trump). If you think our political parties have too much influence on the outcome of our elections, as compared to citizens, read how California chooses its electors — it’ll make you scratch your head, if not tear your hair out: elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov//statewide-elections/2016-primary/section-6-electors-electoral-college.pdf.
We need to have a serious debate about the Electoral College process — it makes no sense since citizens should choose their president, not political party operatives.
Jan Bell is the Auburn Area Democratic Club’s president. The club meets at 6:30 p.m the first Thursday of the month at General Gomez Arts Center in downtown Auburn. Contact Bell at email@example.com and 530-887-1083.