On your way to the store, in parking lots, and at campuses around the state it’s not uncommon to encounter petitioners prowling for signatures, especially in a busy election season. But an investigation by the OC Register reveals that in Orange County many petitioners “conned” young voters into registering as Republicans. Typical locations included outside stores like Wal-Mart and on college campuses such as Cypress College and Golden West College. There have been 99 written complaints by residents in Orange County who claim they were falsely registered as Republicans and the investigation resulted in the discovery of another 74 voters who were registered as Republicans without their knowledge when they signed petitions that were specific to an issue. Mark Standriff, communications director for the California Republican Party, said the following of the investigation:
Critics contend that petitioners are motivated by the price they get per signature so there is an incentive for them to commit fraud. And then there is voter ignorance, as many conned into registering Republican still agreed to sign without looking at the papers properly and many did not know what a party was or the difference between a Republican and a Democrat. A similar problem was uncovered in 2006 when 167 voters complained they were switched to Republicans and the Register found over a 100 more voters who were also affected. Read more here.
“The CRP has its most robust voter registration verification program in its history going on right now. We are committed to accountability and transparency throughout the process ... Even one (bad registration) is not acceptable.”