October 6, 1994
Contact: Chris Reynolds
(916) 449-2949

Miller Admits 2 Million 'Ghost Voters' on Polls
Recent Cases of Voter Registration Fraud Uncovered

Acting Secretary of State Tony Miller recently acknowledged the scope
of voter registration "deadwood," admitting that nonexistent
voters--those who have died, moved away or are registered
illegally--constitute as much as 15 percent of the voters listed on
official rolls, according to an October 4, Oakland Tribune article.

"While I am committed to implementing the strongest voter outreach
program possible, including the federal Motor Voter law, a positive purge
is still a good idea. We have 2 million voters listed on the rolls who
don't really exist," said Bill Jones, the Republican nominee for
Secretary of State. "I have always known this was a big problem, and the
first bill I authored when I was elected to serve in the Assembly would
have corrected that problem. I authored another bill last year. Miller
did not support that legislation. Now, he is at least acknowledging the
scope of this problem.

"Incredibly, we are wasting millions upon millions in taxpayer dollars
by printing and mailing election materials to people who don't exist,"
Jones added. "This also creates the potential for fraudulent voting.
Fortunately, there are people working to define the scope of the
problem, but what has come to light, especially recently, indicates
ongoing problems in the system that should have been aggressively pursued
by the Secretary of State's office."

Two recent fraudulent voter registration cases that show common a
link, and connections to a voter registration drive sponsored by State
Assembly Democrats, indicates there may be a specific employee of the
voter registration organization committing fraud.

"Joann Moran has an interesting story to tell," Jones said. "It's
very instructive and important. It says something about our elections
system, and the need for reform."

Moran, who is available to take calls from the press, was illegally
registered to vote in Los Angeles County without her knowledge. But her
case is not the only one, Jones said.

At least one other Los Angeles County resident has come forward, and
there is a common link between the two cases, which is being traced back
to the same organization that fraudulently registered Moran without her

Moran, a resident of Sun Valley, was surprised to discover that she
was registered to vote when she received a voter registration card at her
home. She was surprised because she was registered as a Democrat, but she's
always considered herself a Republican. Most of all she was surprised
because she never registered to vote. Her concern and her anger led her
to contact a TV news reporter who had earlier headed up an investigative
series on voter registration fraud.

Moran said she was getting nowhere with the Registrar of Voters who
said there was nothing she could do about the fraudulent registration.

"I also called the Secretary of State's office, but I haven't heard
back yet," Moran said.

With the help of the investigative reporter, Moran checked into her
registration status. The registration form turned in to the Los Angeles
County Registrar said someone had "assisted" Moran with her
registration. A phone number--(818) 545-4483--and a name--Brian
Ellis--were listed. The number was called and a message was left. The
person who called back said that they were operating a voter registration
drive, and identified the organization as "Assembly Democrats," according
to Moran and the reporter.

Official campaign disclosure reports have been filed with the
Secretary of State for "Assembly Democrats Statewide Voter
Registration/Phil Isenberg," showing total expenditures of $728,477.63.
Page 110 of the 171-page report contains the name "Brian Ellis" of
Burbank. Ellis was paid $2,357.69 by the committee.

The "Assembly Democrats" committee has its headquarters in Citrus
Heights, near Sacramento.

The same investigative reporter investigated another incident, when
Carleton McBeath, a Burbank resident, called to say he had received two
voter registration cards at his home for people he had never heard of
before. The registration form for the voters carried the same phone
number--(818) 545-4483.

The recent conviction of a Parlier City Councilman in Fresno County on
six counts of election fraud, and recent court action to overturn a Long
Beach City Council race because of voter fraud shows that, in some cases,
there is more than just the potential for fraud.

"Deadwood on the voter rolls costs taxpayers millions. The
justifiable court action in Long Beach will cost taxpayers several
hundred thousand dollars for a new election," Jones said. "But we can't
put a price on what our democracy may be paying because of the immense
potential for abuse."

Joann Moran is interested in talking with the press and public about
this issue because she wants to see an end to dishonest and illegal
activities like the one that victimized her. She can be reached at (818)

Jones has authored a 12-point fraud prevention plan, that includes:
the creation of a joint Secretary of State task force with the Attorney
General's office to investigate fraud, a crack down on voter registration
fraud committed by those who run registration drives, increased penalties
for committing fraud, and safeguards on voter identification.


return to the main page

The material included in this voter guide is archived and will not be updated. Please visit the California Voter Foundation's homepage for the most current information and resources.

California Voter Foundation 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 & 1998