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Secretary Of State Alex Padilla To Discuss Voting Rights With UC San Diego Students

Democrat Alex Padilla speaks during a debate for secretary of state, April 23, 2014.
Associated Press
Democrat Alex Padilla speaks during a debate for secretary of state, April 23, 2014.
Secretary Of State Alex Padilla To Discuss Voting Rights With UC San Diego Students
Secretary Of State Alex Padilla To Discuss Voting Rights With UC San Diego Students GUEST: Alex Padilla, California secretary of state

So far Donald Trump has not started the major investigation into voter fraud that he talked about last week. He has repeatedly claimed that millions of immigrants voted a later on -- illegally or Hillary Clinton. One man who is referred in these charges is Alex Padilla. It is's job to certified election results. He has said the claim of wide spread voter fraud is alive. Secretary Padilla is giving a lecture tonight on the voting rights act. He joins us on route to that event. Welcome. Welcome, good afternoon. Thank you for having me. Calling that a lie is strong land should -- strong language. There are several reasons for that. Making these damaging allegations with zero proof and zero evidence. It's not just here in California. My colleagues throughout the country have worked hard for many years to maintain the integrity of our elections and the integrity of the vote. There is not just no truth to the claim of widespread voter fraud in California or across the country. I speaking up lovely and strongly because of the damage that these allegations can't have. A politico poll found that one in four voters, 25%, believe his claim that millions of voters -- votes were illegally cast. What do you say to convince voters who simply do not believe you. They believe President Trump. I completely understand. My job is to stay focused and state the facts. That is why, when these first surfaced, over Thanksgiving weekend, we invited team Trump to share with us any information or evidence that documented this front. We're happy to look into it. We take this very seriously. The -- they never provided any information or evidence. Last week there was another claim. Back continued to be damaging. We asked again for the information. Now I concerned that they are calling for an investigation based on allegations that are not based on fact or evidence or proof. I am not sure exactly where they are going with this. My theory and my fear is that they are setting the stage to change laws and policy that will move our nation network. That is Nate -- our nation backward. That is not happy. You think that would be voter suppression? That is my concern. On the one hand, to start putting it in people's minds that voter fraud happens. It will make people think that their vote does not matter or make a difference. That is wrong. That is on them -- undemocratic and un-American. If they are doing this to create a political environment where they can change policy and changeable to make it harder for citizens to be registered to vote or to cast a ballot, that is also unhealthy. We see it happening already in more than a handful of states. Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, it they are creatively purging voter rolls, reducing early voting opportunities for eliminating them. I have seen the playbook. I don't know who the president's advisers are. I think we have reason to be concerned. Matthew Harper is the Republican vice chairman of the election committee. He has also dismissed President Trump's fraud claims. He wants to know if new audits need to be put in place. What types of new auditing would help? The point of this conversation is to talk about facts and what exists. We have a lot of protocols and procedures to ensure against fraud. There have been investigations. There have been studies. There are reports that show voter fraud is exceedingly rare and statistically nonexistent. The protocol and detections that we have imp place are working. People should be aware of two things. First, the machines that we used to mark a ballot and count ballots cannot be connected to the Internet by law. That makes it impossible for anybody to systematically hack the election. Afterwards, we do require a percentage of ballots to be counted by hand in each and every County to make sure that the manual tally adds up and aligned with the machine tally to ensure the accuracy of the results and their integrity. We have systems in place that seem to be working. I think President Trump's motives are in a different direction. You are speaking tonight in San Diego about the voting rights act. What message will you share? I want to share observations from this past election and the conversations we have had since. In the context of the struggle for voting rights. That act has stood for 50 years to protect people's right to vote in our country. The Supreme Court decision just a few years ago that it eight core protection act. It is in this decision that we have seen states move to make it harder for people to register and participate. We want to show a different path in California. We want to facilitate people's ability to register and to vote. We think that is healthy for democracy. Padilla is giving that lecture at UC San Diego tonight. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you. Before you know it, we will be voting again. That is the case. Thank you.

President Trump's unsupported claim of widespread voter fraud in California and other states is "a lie," California Secretary of State Alex Padilla told CNN last week.

Padilla was responding to Trump's push for an investigation into voter fraud and his claims that millions of voters cast illegal ballots. There is no evidence to support Trump's claims.

"(Voter fraud) is frankly minuscule, and it's not just a wild guess here. We have had a request for recounts in recent years whether it's a very closely contested congressional race, or a state legislative race, or maybe local city council, or mayor's race," Padilla said. "And whenever we get to that recount and going through the very thorough protocols, a couple, a handful, single-digit difference, maybe."

Padilla will be in San Diego on Thursday to give a lecture to a UC San Diego political science class studying the Voting Rights Act. His office said he will discuss California's efforts to increase voter participation and the unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.

Padilla joins KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday to discuss how California would respond to any voter fraud investigation and how to convince voters who believe Trump's claims.