By Assemblywoman Robin Titus
This week several Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) budgets closed in our Ways and Means committee. Many of the budgets focused on modernizing our existing systems to support customer services interactions. A few of these call for further scrutiny.
With automatic voter registration on the horizon, we should ensure our state is ready for the changes it will bring. At the moment, the DMV mails voter applications and generates motor voter postcards. According to information received from the Legislative Counsel Bureau, these postcards are generated and mailed out any time there is an address change through alternative services provided by the DMV (web portal, mail, etc.). These postcards are receipts for DMV customers confirming that their updated address information has been forwarded to election officials.
At a recent budget meeting it came to my attention that returned DMV postcards are simply shredded without further actions. When I asked them how many cards were returned, or if they let the Secretary of State’s office know which cards were returned, they simply stated these cards are in no way tracked or monitored and the DMV currently has no plans to change these procedures.
This creates multiple problems. First, the lack of procedure strikes at the integrity of our state’s government processes by allowing the DMV to continue wasting time and resources on a system that aggregates inaccurate information as time goes on. Second, it also represents a public safety issue in that DMV is unable to verify and share accurate information with direct agencies. With our state’s expanding population, this could create large problems within our government, especially in the areas of law enforcement and elections.
Our state agencies are the custodians of our personal information and I believe that they should be held to the highest and most rigorous standards.
The DMV is currently aware of my concerns and I look forward to their response.