SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s secretary of state called Friday for new leadership at the state’s embattled Department of Motor Vehicles after revelations of an error that could have prevented nearly 600 people from voting last month.
DMV Director Jean Shiomoto told Secretary of State Alex Padilla in a letter that the agency mistakenly failed to transmit 589 voter records before the Nov. 6 election. A DMV spokesman said Shiomoto had already told staff she plans to retire by the end of the year.
It’s the latest in a string of DMV errors related to rolling out the “motor voter” program that automatically registers eligible people who visit the department. In October, the DMV said about 1,500 people may have been incorrectly registered, perhaps including non-citizens. It also faced an audit over hourslong wait times.
Of the 589 people whose voter information was not transmitted, 329 were registering to vote and 260 were trying to change their address, Shiomoto said.
The records arrived at the DMV after the Oct. 22 voter registration deadline but were either postmarked or signed before it, meaning they still should have been eligible. But the agency did not send those records to the secretary of state until Nov. 30, Shiomoto said.