SAN DIEGO — Only legal California residents can vote in state and federal elections, but a popular post circulating on social media is causing many people some concern. The post implies that hundreds of thousands of non-citizens are voting in California elections.
News 8 investigated the post to see if it could be verified.
The post says, “Last year 449,000 Californians received a jury summons on which they marked the box – I am not a citizen; therefore I cannot sit on a jury.” It goes on to say, “In California, jury candidates are selected from the voter registration list. Think about that for a few minutes.”
So where exactly do jury lists come from? A spokesperson for the San Diego Superior Court told News 8 that their jury pool does come from voter registrations, but they also get jurors from the DMV.
In 2015, a state law went into effect requiring the DMV to issue driver's licenses to anyone who can prove their California residency - regardless of whether they can show they are in the country lawfully. Last year, the DMV confirmed that there were more than one million immigrants with licenses.
So, we can verify that jury candidates are selected from the voter registration list, but the implied concern from the email - that 449,000 people have illegally voted - cannot be verified because all or some of those names could have come from the DMV where non-citizens can legally get a driver’s license.
It's also not clear where that 449,000 number came from in the first place. The email doesn't source its information and here in San Diego County - the state's second-largest court - only around 35,000 people were removed from the juror pool last year based on their citizenship, which makes that 449,000 number seem unreasonably high.