California Mailed “Massive” Number of Ballots in Error – Report Warns of Significant Risk of Voter Fraud

California Mailed “Massive” Number of Ballots in Error – Report Warns of Significant Risk of Voter Fraud

Problems include ballots sent to voters who moved away long ago, duplicate/triplicate ballots, and ballots for dead people and illegal immigrants

San Diego, CA – Reform California released a bombshell research study providing proof that Californians are being inundated with “bad election ballots” that have been sent by state election officials in error.  This report includes results of a survey of voters revealing nearly one-out-of-ten California households have received some kind of “bad ballot” in the mail.

To provide concrete proof of the problems surfaced in the survey, Reform California also provides actual pictures of “bad ballots” and testimonials from voters who say they received duplicate or triplicate ballots for themselves or received ballots for dead people, illegal immigrants, or people who do not even live at their house.

“The evidence in this report is irrefutable proof that California’s voter rolls are a complete mess and the risk of voter fraud in California’s election has never been greater,” said Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California. “When almost one-out-of-ten households in an election in a state are receiving some form of bad ballots that is a massive problem that could impact races that are decided by fractions of a percent in vote totals,” DeMaio warned.

The following are the results from a survey Reform California conducted between October 10-13 using online and text screens of 1251 registered voters (4.4% MOE) in California asking them if their household received any erroneous ballots in the mail.*

HH Received Multiple Ballots for Same Person 9.7%
HH Received Ballots for Wrong Person 987.8%
HH Received Ballots for Dead Person8.6%
 Total Error Rate Per Household1159.%**

*Note: 106 responses (8.5%) indicated no ballot had been received yet.
**Numbers off due to rounding.

Duplicate Ballots Mailed to Individual Voters

Reform California compiled examples of multiple ballots individual voters received with the exact same name on the ballot but a different voter identification number. While California election officials check to see if a ballot is cast twice using the same voter identification number, systems are not in place to properly review for an individual to vote twice or three times using multiple voter identification numbers. As reflected in the attached examples of bad ballots, Peggy Smith in San Diego, CA received one ballot using her familiar name and also received a second ballot for her legal name of Margaret Smith.

Receiving Ballots at Wrong Household

The most common problem identified by Reform California relates to the state mailing ballots to addresses that the individual does not live at.  In some cases these erroneously mailed ballots were sent to an individual who no longer lives at the address in question – having moved away long ago. In other cases the ballots were mailed to homes where the current long-time residents had no idea who the individuals were. One individual in Jamul, CA reported and provided proof of receiving 11 extra ballots at their address for individuals who do not live there.

Ballots for Dead People

Reform California received several reports of deceased individuals receiving ballots – some having died long ago.

Ballots for Illegal Immigrants

Reform California even captured several examples of illegal immigrants receiving ballots. Detecting this problem is difficult as it requires someone to admit they are not a citizen and not eligible to vote, but several individuals courageously reported these bad ballots to the study.

Evidence and Testimonials

In addition to the survey, Reform California contacted individuals to request that they send in photos or copies of bad ballots and provide written testimonials documenting their experience with erroneous election ballots. Complete contact information is available for bona fide media organizations wishing to interview these individuals. Here is a sampling of testimonials received:

“Not sure how 3 different Voter IDs can be issued 3 times to the same person, email address and home address.”
Michael from Chula Vista

“As of this date I have received ballots for 11 people who do not live at this address.”
Anthony from Jamul

“We have been trying to get Kern county to purge my son’s name from the election rolls, he has been a citizen of Texas for the last 13 years.”
Bob from Bakersfield

“In 2001, I dated this girl named Sue, and Amanda was her daughter – but we broke up a year later.  I have not heard from Amanda since and do not know of her whereabouts but I got a ballot for her in the mail.”
–Keith from Hanford

“I received a ballot for my deceased father, Joseph Reid. He passed on 12-24-2016 in Garden Grove.”
Jeanette from Orange County

“An employee of ours who is a Mexican citizen and lives in TJ, has a CA driver’s license and got a ballot in his name here at the office.”
Will from San Diego

Reasons for California’s Election Problems

Reform California outlines three main reasons why California’s voting system is a mess:

  1. Flawed Motor Voter Program: The State of California implemented a motor voter program in 2017 that automatically enrolled any individual who got a new driver’s license as a voter.  A separate bill passed the same session allowed illegal immigrants to receive new driver’s licenses.  California’s motor voter program has been plagued by problems from the outset and state election officials have failed to properly review eligibility requirements for voters that are registered through this program.
  • Failure to Maintain Voter Rolls: County election officials do not conduct proper audits or reviews of their voter rolls.  A analysis of the voter rolls in California’s 50th Congressional District in December 2019 found an 11% variance between the voter rolls for that district and the National Change of Address (NCOA) database used by the postal service to track individuals who move away from their previous address.
  • Failure to Check for Duplicates: A simple way to check for duplicates would be to search every address on the voter rolls and examine any voters at that address who share an exact birth date.  In some cases the voters may be twins or triplets, but in most cases this simple search would surface individuals who are registered more than once.

Demand for Immediate Remediation

“While there is no way to fix the damage that has been done to the integrity of our election by mailing out so many erroneous ballots, we are calling on the State of California election officials to commit to immediate remediation actions to minimize any impact of voter fraud to close races,” DeMaio said.

Reform California is demanding that state election officials immediately announce and commit to taking three corrective actions:

  1. Review and Audit of Voter Registrations:  Commit to a full audit of the voter registration list in each county to remove 1) voters who no longer live at an address 2) dead voters 3) duplicate or triplicate registrations and 4) review eligibility of voters who have been registered automatically through the motor voter program.
  • Warn Individuals of Sanctions for Voter Fraud:  In announcing the audit above, state officials should admonish individuals to refrain from casting ineligible ballots and warn that the results of the audit will be used to refer any individual caught casting ineligible ballots to law enforcement for prosecution.
  • Suspend the Motor Voter Program:  The Governor should immediately sign an order directing the DMV to suspend this fatally-flawed program until proper quality control and verification processes can be established to prevent future problems as outlined in the report.

“California’s politicians should be ashamed of the mess they have created in our elections and should apologize for and correct the problems immediately,” DeMaio said. “Without immediate changes, voters simply cannot have faith in the integrity of any election in the state of California – whether it is for a seat on a small water board or a seat in Congress,” DeMaio concluded.


Section 1: Examples of Ballots Mailed to Dead People

Section 2: Examples of Duplicate/Triplicate Ballots Mailed to Same Person

Section 3: Examples of Ballots Mailed to Wrong Address

Section 4: Examples of Ballots Mailed to Non-Citizen


Founded in 2004, Reform California is a 527 political action committee that is dedicated to holding state and local government accountable. In 2019 Reform California launched a project calling for each county in the state to establish regular independent audits of its voter rolls.  More information on that project