PV’s Exclusive Newsmaker Interview: Mark P. Meuser
Question No. 1. Why are you running for Secretary of State?
Mark P. Meuser: The Secretary of State is the chief election officer for the state of California. According to the Pew Research Center, California elections are the second worst in the nation. California does not do a great job when we compare ourselves with other states.
The Secretary of State is also the initial government entity that every entrepreneur must interact with before doing business in the state of California. Even with modern technology, it takes close to three weeks to register a business in this state. It takes three weeks here when someone can register their business in Nevada in just a couple of minutes. No wonder why California’s registration process is ranked one of the worst in this nation.
The shine for the star of California has lost its luster. No longer are we a national leader. We have lost the respect of our fellow states. It is time to use technology to give Californians a responsive government.
Question No. 2. What would be your priorities as Secretary of State if you won?
Mark P. Meuser: As Secretary of State, my number one priority would be to clean up the California voter rolls. The fact that there are 11 counties in California with over 100% voter registration is a major problem. The fact that Los Angeles County has over 144% voter registration should be a concern to all citizens. That is a problem because balloting material costs taxpayers approximately $4 per person. It is good government to keep the rolls cleared of those who have died, moved, have a non-matching address, or who are not eligible to vote.
Furthermore, when the Secretary of State does not ensure that the counties are cleaning the rolls, it creates an opportunity for special interests to dictate the results of close elections. Just last year, at least 215 people voted in Los Angeles county who were dead according to a CBS investigation. When dead people are not removed from the rolls, it creates an opportunity for someone else to dilute California citizen’s vote. Cleaning the rolls simply requires comparing the names on the list with various government and commercial databases. With today’s computers, there is no excuse for failing to keep the voter rolls cleared of those who have died, moved, have non-matching addresses, or who are not eligible to vote.
Question No. 3. Many believe that voter fraud exists in California. Do you? And what would you do about it if elected?
Mark P. Meuser: As an attorney, I have had the opportunity to observe many elections. Most of our election officials desire to run clean and honest elections. They are concerned with only one thing, ensuring that those who are eligible to vote vote, and that their vote is counted. Problems arise because there is a lot of power and money associated with elected office. Ever since the first election, people have found ways to game the system in order to gain an unfair advantage on their opponent.
In 1852, there was a special election for a state assembly race in Contra Costa county. At the end of the day, it was discovered that there were many people who had come over from San Francisco on the ferry who cast ballots up to seven times in various precincts. People like to laugh at our nation’s wild past and think that this type of behavior did not or does not occur. Yes, people crossed into Kansas from Missouri and voted, but that happened over 100 years ago. However, the sad reality is that it still happens today.
We have recently discovered that a Mexican citizen has been voting for the last 25 years for a dead man. I have met multiple individuals who have showed up at the polls only to be told that someone showed up at the polls earlier in the day and fraudulently voted on their behalf. I have talked to election workers who in 2016 saw a bus pull up in front of their polling station and witnessed every person on the bus voting for individuals who had not yet voted that day. The age of the people on the bus clearly did not match the age of those for whom they were voting.
Even one fraudulent vote is too many. One fraudulent vote dilutes the California voter’s voice and gives power to those who are more concerned with obtaining power. As Secretary of State, I intend to prosecute election law violations. It is my plan to give justice to those who have had their vote stolen. Election fraud is not a victimless crime.
Question No. 4. Many believe that voter rolls in California are being kept up to date in accordance with California law. Do you? And what would you do about it if elected?
Mark P. Meuser: California voter rolls are not up to date. When journalists are able to discover over 200 dead people who voted in the last election, people who have been dead for decades, it is clear that the Secretary of State has been dropping the ball when it comes to keeping our voting rolls clean.
Furthermore, the state of California has over 10,000 people whose date of birth is in the 1800s. What is scary is that many of these “people” are still voting. The Secretary of State has the power to investigate this issue. Is this a typo and simply bad data? Or, is this a fictitious registration that special interest has been using to help ensure that they control who is elected in very close elections?
As Secretary of State, I will clean up California voter rolls. I will also investigate, audit, and start prosecutions of those who have committed a felony by violating California’s election laws by voting on behalf of another person.
Question No. 5. Do you believe the office has become politicized today? If so, how? and what would you do about it?
Mark P. Meuser: The Secretary of State has politicized the office in multiple ways. First, the games that he is playing with the recall efforts of Senator Josh Newman are appalling. The Secretary of State is moving the goalposts on the voters of California by changing the rules that they must follow in order to exercise their right to keep their representatives accountable.
The Secretary of State has also politicized the office when it comes to the petition process. The Secretary of State exercises great scrutiny upon the signatures of the voters of the state when they petition their government by signing a petition. The Secretary of State is very quick to throw out signatures that do not perfectly match. However, at the same time, when it comes to checking the signatures of those who are voting, the same standard is not used.
As Secretary of State, it is my plan to fairly enforce the election laws regardless of which side it will benefit. The people of California would not tolerate it if a county sheriff was to issue speeding tickets to Republicans who were driving 1 mile over the speed limit but only issue a speeding ticket to a Democrat if they were driving 30 miles over the speed limit. In the same way, it is important that all election laws be fairly and impartially be enforced. The counting of one’s ballot should not be a partisan issue.
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