21st of September 2015

AB 1461 Will Lead to ‘State Sanctioned’ Voter Fraud

Key Highlights

  • Bad Timing: CA automatic voter registration bill would operate in tandem with existing law allowing noncitizens to receive driver licenses
  • Bad Data Practices: California’s DMV records are unable to differentiate between U.S. citizen and noncitizens when automatically plugging them into voter rolls
  • Sanctioning Fraud: Noncitizens found voting will be excused from prosecution
  • Universal Concern: TTV, EIP-CA, ACLU, AAAJ and others agree that millions of votes could be wrongfully cast


HOUSTON, TX. / LOS ANGELES, CA. -- September 21, 2015: True the Vote (TTV), the nation's leading voters’ rights and election integrity organization and the Election Integrity Project of California, a nonpartisan citizen group dedicated to improving California’s elections, today called on Governor Jerry Brown to veto AB 1461, the California New Motor Voter Program.

After months of study and communication with lawmakers and state agencies alike, the election integrity organizations demand that AB 1461 be vetoed.

This bill is terrible. It makes an already bad situation much, much worse,” True the Vote Founder Catherine Engelbrecht said. “The California New Motor Voter Program promises to improve voter participation by automatically registering CA-DMV customers to vote.  What’s been conveniently overlooked is that California’s registration databases lack the necessary safeguards to keep non-citizens off the voter rolls. Now, legislators are quite literally asking Gov. Brown to intentionally, systematically, push millions of non-citizens onto California’s voter rolls.”

“AB 1461 will effectively change the form of governance in California from a Republic whose elected officials are determined by United States citizens and will guarantee that noncitizens will be the deciding factor in all California elections going forward,” Election Integrity Project of California President Linda Paine said. “The Secretary of State has ignored the concerns of citizens for many years, so it is not surprising that this office supports a bill that facilitates noncitizens to register and vote with prosecutorial immunity. We call on Governor Brown to veto this brazen attempt to completely break down the integrity of California’s election process to the point that it cannot be repaired.”

Confusing U.S. Citizens with Noncitizens

Unlike the few other states that have opted for or are considering automatic voter registration through driver license agencies, pre-existing California law (AB 60) allows for the issuance of driver’s licenses to noncitizens regardless of ability to prove legal presence. Recent estimates provided by CA-DMV claim nearly 700,000 individuals had taken advantage of the new licensing privileges since first offered in January 2015.

During interviews with TTV research staff, the CA-DMV Legal Affairs Division explained that the agency’s licensing records were not designed to differentiate noncitizen drivers from U.S. citizens, nor were there plans to create a stand-alone list of AB 60 recipients. Simply put, other offices, such as the California Secretary of State, would not be readily able to discern voter eligibility relying on incoming CA-DMV database records. As a contrast, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration explained to TTV that noncitizen drivers were easily identified in their database thanks to unique indicators.[1]

State-Sanctioned Fraud

In previous versions of AB 1461, the bill required that the CA-DMV transmit “the document code or equivalent identifier associated with the document the person provided to prove that his or her presence in the United States is authorized under federal law and that the applicant is a citizen of the United States” to statewide voter registration officials during the automation process. The bill currently on Governor Brown’s desk now contains no such language, as it was stripped prior to enrollment.[2] Further, the current bill provides the sole responsibility of ensuring that only U.S. citizens are registered to vote be placed with the Secretary of State – forcing voter registrars to sift through six-figure sums of applications without clear citizenship indicators.[3]   

Finally, AB 1461 Section 2269 protects ineligible voters from criminal prosecution:

“If a person who is ineligible to vote becomes registered to vote pursuant to this chapter and votes or attempts to vote in an election held after the effective date of the person’s registration, that person shall be presumed to have acted with official authorization and shall not be guilty of fraudulently voting or attempting to vote pursuant to Section 18560, unless that person willfully votes or attempts to vote knowing that he or she is not entitled to vote.”

Widespread Concern for AB 1461

True the Vote and the Election Integrity Project of California are not alone in demanding AB 1461 be vetoed due to heightened concerns of noncitizen votes diluting the value of legal ones. The California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Asian Americans Advancing Justice have both spoken against the bill over concerns that the millions of noncitizens residing in the state could be mistaken for U.S. citizens and participate in elections.[4]

“Governor Brown has a very simple decision to make,” TTV Founder Engelbrecht added. He can veto a bill that facilitates widespread election fraud or he can rubber-stamp a measure that decimates whatever faith is still left in California’s election system. The choice should be clear.”


True the Vote (TTV) is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) voters’ rights organization, founded to inspire and equip voters for involvement at every stage of our electoral process. TTV empowers organizations and individuals across the nation to actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation. For more information, please visit

VoteStand is now available for both iOS (Apple) and Android devices free of charge. For more detailed technical information, visit the official VoteStand website at

EIP is a nonpartisan, group of U.S. and California citizen volunteers seeking to fulfill our duty to actively participate in the governing of our state/country by helping to ensure the integrity of the voting process which protects our freedoms and way of life. EIP volunteers seek to protect a government of, by, and for the people by maintaining an active role in that part of government which empowers us with the most fundamental right of a Constitutional Republic ~ the right to choose our representatives by vote. To learn more, visit



[1] Email conversation with MVA External Affairs Division, May 20, 2015

[2] Sec. 2263(b)(1)(E)

[3] Sec. 2262(b)

[4] California Senate Standing Committee on Transportation and Housing, July 14, 2015


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