California Election Watchdog Fights to Protect Ballot, Voting Procedures

By Michael Hernandez
Michael Hernandez
Michael Hernandez
June 16, 2021 Updated: June 17, 2021

Election Integrity ProjectCa (EIPCa), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that has trained 13,000 citizens to become active election observers, has been fighting for 11 years to “protect the integrity of ballot and voting procedures,” Linda Paine, president and co-founder, told The Epoch Times.

“The [election] system is so corrupt, so easily manipulated, that the oligarchs at the top determine who wins and loses,” she said.

“We are citing ballot harvesting as unconstitutional [because] it removes the chain of custody that protects the integrity of ballots by allowing anyone to be able to pick-up a ballot and deliver it to a precinct or county election office.”

Previously you “had to follow certain steps to allow someone to take your ballot. You could choose someone who you lived with or a family member. The ballot envelope had to have the signature of the voter and the signature of the designated person.”

“It is not illegal to pass anti-ballot harvesting laws. The Supreme Court ruling on the State of Arizona is really important. A ruling against Arizona will not protect minorities but make them more vulnerable. Ballot harvesting removes all chain of custody,” said Paine.

EIPCa has been working to clean up voter rolls and to highlight “corrupt federal and state election laws” as well as warn the public about voting machines and election software since 2018.

Paine says she has driven 450,000 miles across California, Arizona, and Nevada to work with citizen observers and to highlight election issues in all three states.

A 2020 election report released by EIPCa claimed: 440,000 “questionable” ballots were mailed to deceased, relocated, and duplicated registrants in California. Of these 440,000 mailed ballots, 20,000 received two to four ballots.

Examples of irregularities and questionable voter registrations included:

  • a Los Angeles County male born in 1920 who last voted in 2004 and died out of state in 2010
  • a Los Angeles County female born in 1896 and died in 1993
  • a Los Angeles County male with two active registrations who has been doubled registered since 2016 was mailed two ballots
  • a Placer County female born in 1931 who died in 2015
  • a Monterey County male born in 1914 registered in 1936 and last voted in 1998
  • a Fresno County male born in 1936, registered in 1952 and last voted 1998
  • an Alameda County female with three active registrations and registered three times in 2020 using three registration methods and was mailed three ballots.

Also included in the 2020 election report was how former California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who is now a California U.S. senator, released 14 new regulations on mail-in ballots and signature verification on Sept. 28.

Regulation 20960(j) made it very unlikely that any envelope signature would be rejected, requiring that two additional election officials agree beyond a reasonable doubt that the signatures do not match.

EIPCa, part of the national Election Integrity Alliance, signed a letter to President Donald J. Trump in July 2020, warning that “a fair and honest election is not possible under current conditions. Under cover of COVID, enough states’ election laws are currently being manipulated so that even an Electoral College majority can be stolen in a variety of ways.” The letter called upon the president to require states to follow federal election law to maintain clean voter rolls before the Aug. 5 deadline for the November 2020 election.

According to the organization’s mission statement, EIPCa “is a nonpartisan group of U.S. citizens volunteers seeking to fulfill our duty to actively participate in the governing of our state/county, a government of, by, and for the people by helping to ensure the integrity of the part of our Republic through which citizens exercise our most fundamental right—the right to choose our representatives by fair and honest elections.”

It’s specific purpose “is to defend, through education, research, and advocacy (including legal action and providing and funding the training of election observers), the civil rights of U.S. citizens to fully participate in the election process under Federal and state law,” said Paine.

EIPCa’s documentation of California’s Election Law & Procedures includes:

  • Legislation that weakens or removes integrity in the election process
  • no Photo Voter ID
  • pre-registration of 16-year-olds
  • felons voting
  • legal ballot harvesting
  • same-day registration and voting without the ability to ensure the legitimacy of the voter
  • automatic DMV registration resulting in hundreds of thousands of changes to voter registrations without their knowledge
  • manipulation of the National Voter Registration Act Section 7
  • manipulation of vulnerable populations
  • non-citizen registration & voting with/without their knowledge
  • policies and procedures that do not protect integrity in the management of elections and the processing of the ballots

“As a non-partisan organization, EIPCa does not participate in any political campaign, nor does it endorse any candidate for public office. EIPCa focuses on the voting process, so that every lawfully cast vote is accurately counted. EIPCa believes that the electoral process is the cornerstone of self-governance and the preservation of our Constitutional Republic. EIPCa takes no position on which candidate should prevail in a fair and honest election,” Paine said.

Documenting Truth

The EIPCa continues “to document the truth: the radical change in California is due to the corruption and easy manipulation of our electoral process. Noncompliance with state and federal law has resulted in bloated voter rolls filled with illegitimate registrations; procedures in the polls that provide easy access to a ballot by those who don’t qualify to vote or who are attempting to vote more than once; and a legislative body intent on using legislation to create greater distance between the citizens and the assurance that their vote counts,” according to Paine.

In 2020, EIPCa was able to influence the inclusion of an amendment to AB860 regarding mail ballot voting. The amendment prevented Vote-by-Mail ballots from being mailed to 4.5 million registrants on the inactive list.

But the EIPCa has documented a pattern that “shows our reports were used to determine which issues weaken the election process and then laws were written or updated that legalized those very issues we uncovered in our reports,” said Paine.

Recent Activities

In 2020, the EIPCa trained 1,000 citizens to observe the polls, vote centers, and Registrars of Voter Offices during the March Primary.

EIPCa researched the statewide voter rolls and identified multiple counties with multiple people who cast more than one ballot. The California Secretary of State agreed with EIPCa and referred at least 15 people to the Attorney General.

EIPCa trained approximately 3,000 citizens to observe, document, and take action to protect integrity in the 2020 election. The evidence from EIPCa Observer Incident Reports & Witness Statements, Citizen Incident Statements, and reports from the website Contact option have been “overwhelming consistent in showing the California elections were chaotic due to Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s emergency regulations, noncompliance with NVRA Section 8 requirements to maintain accurate voter rolls and California’s bad laws that remove integrity in the election process,” said Paine.

In 2021, the EIPCa filed legal action against California’s governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and 13 registrars of voters. EIPCa and 13 congressional candidates filed a lawsuit on Jan. 4, 2021, because “election integrity and transparency are critical for the enfranchisement of every eligible voter, regardless of party or political view,” said Paine.

“Our Constitutional Republic is founded on the sacred right of every eligible citizen to cast an equal vote to determine who will represent him or her in government.”

Lawsuit Dismissed

California’s Central District Court dismissed the EIPCa lawsuit on June 15. The defendants’ motions to dismiss came without ruling on the facts, paving the way for a plaintiffs’ appeal. EIPCa attorney Joshua Kroot of the Primary Law Group in Los Angeles told the Epoch Times on June 16 that an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court will be forthcoming. Some 13 Congressional candidates are the plaintiffs, while the defendants named are Secretary of State Shirley Weber, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Gov. Gavin Newsom, as well as 13 County Registrar of Voters.

The Constitution of the United States “guarantees this right through the Equal Protection Clause, due process of the 14th Amendment, and in the case of Federal congressional elections, through the Elections Clause (Article 1, Section 4). It also guarantees to every State, a Republican form of government and protection against invasion (Article 4, Section 4),” said Paine.

“This is not a partisan issue but a United States Constitutional issue that affects every candidate and every election. It is time to ensure the integrity of future elections for all citizens.

“Over the past three decades in California, these rights have been intentionally eroded by an onslaught of unconstitutional statutes, regulations, executive orders, and voting practices which, taken together, are designed to create an environment in which elections could be manipulated and eligible voters of all political viewpoints disenfranchised.”

Michael Hernandez
Michael Hernandez