Tag Archives: public sector malfeasance

Lou Binninger: “Is the voting system trustworthy?”

2 Jun

Last Fall when I asked Butte County Clerk Recorder Candace Grubbs a few pointy questions about missing ballots, thrown-out ballots, mis-addressed ballots, etc, she really got nasty with me, declaring that I was accusing her of something. It made me think of that line from Hamlet – “The lady doth protest too much…” She whirled around on the defensive faster than the Arkansas Razorbacks.


Contrast Grubbs’ reaction with that of Yuba County Clerk Recorder Terry Hansen when asked about voter fraud in Yuba County (Is the Voting System Trustworthy? by Lou Binninger )


The piece starts out with a notice that Hansen will be asking English non-proficient voters to send in a request for bilingual ballot booklets, but when Hansen seems open to chat, Binninger goes on to ask a few questions about voter fraud, citing one surprising instance of recent fraud right there in Yuba County. “Before Hansen’s tenure charges were filed against a city council candidate
for registering numerous individuals using a pool hall address. “

I was invited years ago to a meeting at District 2 Supervisor Larry Wahl’s office, he liked to have people sit around a table and discuss current issues, I respected that. Another person at the meeting was Mark Sorensen, former Chico mayor and current city council member. We got into a casual conversation in which Sorensen asserted that he had studied the voter rolls – available at the door of every precinct on election night for the public to peruse – and he’d seen the name of a prominent local person who listed his address as the building that houses the Jesus Center. We supposed that the man must live out of the city limits and wanted to vote in council elections, which is totally illegal. It set me to wondering – how many people register at their work addresses here in the city of Chico for the same reason? At a rental property? At their friend’s house? 

When I posed these questions to Grubbs, she went madder than a wet hen, again accusing me of accusing of accusing her of something. I asked, at that time, if I was allowed to purchase the voter rolls for inspection – I was perfectly willing to pay for them – but she said I had to be a registered PAC to be allowed to even see the rolls. They’re public information, like I say, they’re posted right at the door, on a post, of any polling precinct, for the public to inspect, but she said I had to be a PAC!

I’m not accusing her of anything, but she sure acts suspicious.

Terry Hansen describes new measures that are being put in place, assuring us that it will be easier for county clerks to keep track of who is registered where, when they move, even when they die. It sounds as simple as, the various counties are finally communicating with each other.  In past, it was entirely possible and I’d say probable, that people all over California – and the nation – were registered at various addresses as they moved from district to district, town to town, county to county, even state to state, simply because the people who run the system – county clerks – don’t stay up on this information, they don’t drop you from your old address when you register at your new address. This allows some people to be registered in multiple voting precincts, even in one town. 

I had at least three people complain to me that they still received voter information for people who had not lived at their house for years, in some instances, had moved completely out of state. 

As optimistic as Hansen seems about the changes, I believe the system is as strong or weak as the people in charge, and I believe the incompetence and entitled attitude of our public workers will perpetuate voter fraud.