Is Voter Registration in Los Angeles County at 112 Percent?

During a press briefing on Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany claimed that “somehow in L.A. County 112 percent of Los Angeles County is registered to vote.” The Washington Post disputed this claim, titling a video of the remark, “McEnany falsely says voter registration rate in Los Angeles County is 112 percent.”

McEnany also made the claim at several points throughout the week, first in a viral tweet and then during a Fox News interview Thursday, in which she stated: “In L.A. County you have 112 percent of the population registered—ask yourself how that happens—and 112 percent of the population gets a ballot. Well that leaves 12 percent subject to fraud—at least 12 percent.”

The basis for McEnany’s claims is a 2017 lawsuit brought by activism group Judicial Watch, which stated that Los Angeles County and 10 other counties in California had more registered voters than eligible adults. Contrary to what the Washington Post headline stated, Los Angeles County did have more registered voters than eligible adults. However, McEnany’s presentation of this fact isn’t completely accurate either: Rather than evidence of mass voter fraud, the 112 percent statistic is due to counting both active and inactive registered voters.

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  • Trump's war on our democracy is in the top three of the most dangerous things he is doing (along with his war on the criminal justice system and his war on the separation of powers).

    The pattern here is the same as the others: he knows it's likely that democracy will not give him what he wants, so he needs to attack that thing.

    And like much of the nonsense in the other areas, most Americans won't buy it, but millions of people will, and millions will be convinced--or they will say they are convinced--that the elections aren't fair of their preferred pro-Trump candidates don't win because Trump said the voting system is fraudulent.

  • Thank you!


  • Airishjust now
    This article claims that these inactive voters will be purged. I'm skeptical. Note that "Governor" Stacy Abrams claimed voter suppression cost her the election, and a leftie group filed a lawsuit asserting that "In 2017, for example, the Secretary of State unconstitutionally purged the rolls of nearly ten percent of Georgia’s registered voters. These voters were disenfranchised under Georgia’s 'use it or lose it' law merely because they had not recently exercised their right to vote."

    Unconstitutionally purged. Right. So expect this kind of smokescreen in LA to occur.

  • There was apparently an article in the LA Times of a deceased gentleman who voted thru several elections. We know snowbirds can vote in two states if they flow on Election Day and if they are registered in both states. NY,FL for example. If they keep voter roles clean, remove the dead and match signatures it presents an opportunity for cleaner elections. But we still have bad apples who have committed fraud.

    1. According to the Republican-supporting Heritage Institute, the rate seems to be about one fraudulent vote for every 1,000,000 non-fraudulent ones:

      Butterflies in the Amazon effect our election outcomes more than voter fraud. This makes sense since only an insane person would risk a felony conviction for one stupid vote.

  • A fact check that objectively evaluates spin on a meaningful issue! This is the type of journalism I rely on The Dispatch to provide. Well done, Alec.

  • According to the linked AP story on the 2019 settlement agreement:

    "Contrary to the impression left by several media fact-checkers, “inactive” voters in California are able to cast a legal regular ballot."

    This fact-check also leaves that impression. For support, it links an information page from the California Secretary of State on Provisional Voting. That page includes the term "inactive" only once, and in a way that does not clearly state what is claimed here. It clearly asserts that a voter on the inactive list may cast a provisional ballot. It does not clearly assert that such a voter will be denied a regular ballot.

  • If you don't count inactive voters at all, that's a rate of 86.2%. The national rate was estimated to be ~78.6% in 2014 ( The county might have more robust voter registration efforts than other counties, but I'd love to see more research accounting for variation in registration rates nationally

  • In Washington we have a thing called ‘self certify’. They have it in CA too I believe. Motor voter states in general. They are legally forbidden from asking about your citizenship status

    So when you check the ‘voter’ box under ‘organ donor’ when you get your drivers license you are ‘self certifying’ that you are in fact allowed to vote

    After you check that box they mail you ballots for every election based on the fact that you have a drivers license

    That’s how they check if you’re allowed to vote. By asking you if you’re allowed to vote

    It’s basically foolproof

    1. Kevin, this is wildly incorrect. One can register to vote while getting a driver's licence, the process verifies citizenship.

      Please read chapter two second one of the "complete notebook" courtesy of Jay Inslee. Cheers!

      1. “HAVA requires verification of ID through the statewide Voter Registration Database (VRDB). The ID numbers requested on the form are from the Department of Licensing (DOL) or Social Security (SSN)”

        *OR* Did you see the word “or” in the 242 page document that you linked to without reading?

        1. "The VRDB reduces opportunities for fraud and mistakes by conducting periodic data integrity checks. Voter records verify against other county, state, and federal databases to validate voter ID, locate duplicate records, and clear the active voter rolls of non‐qualified registrants."

          Also, your original truth claim was that they are legally prevented from asking about citizenship whatsoever. Now you are retreating to unwarranted scrutiny of the process to verify citizenship. That's called moving the goalpost, and two errors for anyone keeping score.

          "Love Spokane.. or don't... whatever."

          1. No one is moving goalposts

            My original claim is correct

            My subsequent claim is correct

            I am correct

            All you are providing now is irrelevant information that explains how they reduce fraud by checking that you have a license and checking your signature which obviously does nothing since the initial verification method is that they ask you to ‘self certify’

        2. Page 232 of the PDF addresses, "Pattern(s) of partisan voting"

    2. Really? I live in WA too. But we've had the vote-by-mail for so long that I don't remember what I had to do to get a ballot the first time.

      1. Yes but absentee vote by mail is different than the new system with the DMV. You wouldn’t notice the switch if you were legally registered absentee previously

        Just pay attention when you renew your license next time


    3. In CA, you provide proof of citizenship when you apply for a driver's license. If you aren't a citizen, you can still get a driver's license, but you are recorded as not being a citizen in the DMV database. After you register to vote, which you can do online, your record is looked up in the DMV database. If you aren't marked as a citizen, your registration does not go through and you are not eligible to vote. You will not be mailed any election materials, including any mail-in ballots.

      I hope that clarifies things.

      1. That back of the house system is much like the auditing process in WA. Kevin is wrong in the case of both states.

      2. I haven’t looked at this closely in California. Can you link to something that explains how your DMV has a non-citizen classification for licensees?

        1. You haven't looked closely in Washington either.


            o Name.

            o Residential address.

            o Date of birth.

            o Affirmation of US citizenship.

            o Signature attesting to truth of information provided on the form”

            *AFFIRMATION* of US citizenship. That is ‘self certify’ as I said

            Please don’t tell me you linked to this 242 page document without knowing what it says

    4. Is that really how it works?

      I've been registered to vote longer than I've had my driver's license (don't laugh, I was late on the license, as early as legally possible on the voting), but I seem to remember some language on MA's forms at least saying that there would be another round of certification. And it's hard to imagine any state doing less than my beloved Commonwealth.

      I'll look into it

      1. I sincerely doubt it. As a citizen of CA, I read all sorts of misleading statements coming from the right about how CA handles voter registration and the voting process. For example, it is a persistent belief out there on the right that you are automatically registered to vote when you obtain a driver's license and since illegals can obtain a driver's license, they are registered to vote in CA.

        However, they completely ignore the fact that part of the process of obtaining a driver's license in CA includes providing proof of citizenship. And that only proven citizens are automatically registered to vote.

        1. You are not required to be a citizen to get a CA driver's license or ID card. You are required to show legal residency (not citizenship) in order to be a "Real ID" version of either document*. You can get a non-"Real ID" CA DL or ID without showing residency. As best I understand, "motor voter" doesn't directly connect the process of getting a DL or ID to registering to vote. In CA DMV employees are, however, required to ask if you _want_ to register to vote, whenever you come in for any transaction.

          1. Yes, you are right about not needing to be a citizen to get a CA driver's license. I wasn't clear about that.

            However, when you do get a driver's license, either a Real ID or not, and ask to be registered to vote, the information you provided about citizenship is forwarded to the voting registrar for validation and registration. In other words, the State of California is trying to make life easier on you so that you don't have to submit the same information to the state twice. If you have applied for a Driver's License as an illegal immigrant, you will not get a Real ID card and your information is not forwarded, as I understand it, to the voting registrar. Hence you are not registered to vote.

          2. * The dates on your residency set the expiration date of your "Real ID", or the date is your birthday four years hence, whichever comes first. I see alot of these as our local DMV processes lots of university students from UC Berkeley, Mills, CSU East Bay, etc.

        2. Here is the ACLU laying it all for for the non-citizen (and illegals can easily do this as well once they have an SSN, which is not hard to get, and even if they don't have an SSN). For illegals, a state-issued SL makes everything so much easier and soon, you will be on the amnesty list once Biden is elected.

          1. A person with an AB-60 license cannot use that license in order to register to vote.

          2. They want illegal immigrants to vote. They want cities to be looted. They want the economy shut down

            They hate this country

        3. That's not true. Perhaps for "RealID, but you can get a DL in CA without any proof of citizenship whatsoever. Read my note below on that.

          Also, this was posted by a law firm and addresses this.,for%20driving%20without%20a%20license.

          1. Yes, but you can't use that license for voter registration.

        4. No there would be no need for ‘self certify’ if it was all being double checked against documents

          I’m not in CA but in Washington we have ‘self certify’ specifically *because* they are not allowed to inquire about your status

          It’s not like they are asking people to certify just for fun

          1. I can't speak to WA, but you're right, it's an "honor system" and it's clear no one will ever check. Osama bin Laden could have self certified and would be happily voting for Biden this fall (but for for the unfortunate incident a few years back). As I noted, the online voter registration process virtually forces you to check an "I'm a citizen" button. Is there any doubt about whether or not the party in power in CA or WA is motivated to keep noncitizens from voting?

        5. No it doesn't. I can't publish an image showing this, but if you go to to register, you see a number of choices about citizenship. Nowhere is there a choice indicating "noncitizen." You have to check you're a citizen. Later, the website indicates that "New voters may have to show a form of identification or proof of residency the first time they vote." Note that there is no requirement that your provide proof of citizenship. The system is essentially designed to encourage non-citizen registration and to look the other way afterwards on the citizenship issue. This is undoubtedly intended to entice noncitizens to register.

          1. To get a driver's license, you don't have to show proof of citizenship, of course, but you have to have one document showing residency. This is a pretty low bar, since one of the options is to provide a "Faith-based document with the name/address of issuing organization."

            There is an SSN requirement, but only for ReadID applicants or CDLs.

            I think it's fair to say that even if this weren't deliberately done, the process is beautifully designed to make it amazingly easy for noncitizens to end up as registered voters, and it makes it almost impossible for anyone to ever try to verify citizenship or, heaven forbid, punish any noncitizen for registering to vote.

      2. I registered initially before the DMV situation. I had to present my social security card (which I don’t remember doing) but I know this because they mailed me copies of all my originally provided documents when they did a signature check years back

        Not now. Now it is just connected to having a drivers license. There is a sign next to every window at the DMV offices that says

        “By selecting the voter option you hereby certify....”

        I couldn’t believe it either and spent 5 minutes talking to a DMV guy last time I renewed. My license is connected to my passport so I asked him
        “But what about people who’s licenses aren’t connected to a passport??”

        Also that sign that informs people of what they are doing when they check the voter box is in English only so many people likely don’t realize they are committing fraud