Voting booths. Photo by Stephanie Rivera
Voting booths. Photo by Stephanie Rivera

Southern California election officials are insisting Donald Trump is just wrong in asserting massive voter fraud will impact the November election.

Republican presidential candidate Trump’s allegation that massive voter fraud is taking place and will impact the results of the Nov. 8 general election has no bearing on Riverside County, Registrar of Voters Rebecca Spencer said.

Her words were echoed earlier by the Orange County registrar-recorder, and it was expected that would be the case for Los Angeles and San Diego counties, even though officials had not yet returned phone calls..

In Riverside, the top county election official assured voters Tuesday, “We’re on top of it. The systems we have in place in Riverside County are good,” Spencer told City News Service. “I am confident in our procedures and staff. We have the necessary checks and balances.”

Spencer would not directly respond to Trump’s position that the election could be undermined by fraudulent voting, but asserted that she and her 35- person staff work “throughout the year” to resolve irregularities.

Trump has lately used the phrase “rigged system” in describing his concerns, tweeting Monday that “of course there is large scale voter fraud happening.”

The comments coincide with his slide in national polls. However, Trump’s contentions also coincide with recent revelations of documented voter fraud in Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The nonprofit Public Interest Legal Foundation last week uncovered evidence of nearly 1,000 illegal immigrant or non-citizen voters on the rolls in Virginia going back to the 2008 election.

In Philadelphia alone, the foundation flagged 86 fraudulent voter registrations, but the group’s lead attorney, Joseph Vanderhulst, believed that was only “the tip of the iceberg.”

This week, the nonprofit organization Project Veritas released videos of an undercover sting targeting Americans United for Change, a political advocacy organization backing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whose national field director, Scott Foval, boasted of bringing voters from one state to another to vote illegally.

Spencer told CNS that her office is on the alert for fraud, and when problems are identified, action is taken. She pointed to the CBS2 investigation in May that showed a half-dozen so-called “dead voters” still on the rolls as one example.

“When we learn they’re deceased, we remove them,” Spencer said. “We do voter file maintenance on a regular basis.”

Spencer said that with the majority of votes being cast by mail, there is an ongoing effort to confirm the validity of signatures applied to absentee ballots.

“The first step is handled by our automated signature verification system,” Spencer said. “It compares the signature on the envelope to the signature on the registration card originally filed with our office. If it doesn’t get a high enough score, it is staffed out for human review.”

Spencer said at least four pairs of eyes scrutinize questionable signatures before a ballot is processed. In the end, less than 1 percent of vote-by-mail ballots are red-flagged for possible fraud, according to the registrar.

Spencer said the county is on its way to having a record 1 million residents registered to vote this election cycle, and that milestone means she and her staff will be busy confirming the authenticity of registration information ahead of the general election.

“We rely on DMV and Social Security databases to confirm what’s on file,” Spencer said.

— City News Service

 

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