Thursday, February 27, 2014

David Curtis, Green Party candidate for CA Sec. of State, on the issues

David Curtis, the Green Party-endorsed candidate for California Secretary of State in the “top-two” primary election scheduled for June 3, 2014, talks about his campaign, the Green Party of California, and the issues, such as decentralization and local democracy, that he’s raising as he runs, recorded on February 27, 2014.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Schnur calls for “convening a discussion” about e-initiatives once he’s elected

Dan Schnur, an independent candidate for Secretary of State of California in the June primary, has indicated that he supports “convening” an assembly of stakeholders to discuss the pros and cons of implementing an “e-initiative,” or online signature-gathering for official petitions.

Schnur has declined to endorse this proposal as part of his campaign platform, saying that he would not have the power to convene such a group until he was elected to the Secretary of State position.

A Republican candidate for this office, Pete Peterson, answered an inquiry about e-initiatives on Facebook by referring to Point 4 of his Five Point Plan.  "There I note my support for not only exploring e-signatures in ballot initiatives, but actually looking at an 'e-Petition' process that could work like an 'indirect initiative'."

Alex Padilla, another candidate for Secretary of State, in his capacity as a California State Senator, has declined to carry a bill implementing e-initiatives in the current session of the California State Legislature.  Another member of the Legislature, Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, has until Friday, February 21st, to decide if he’ll carry such a bill this session.

Friday, February 14, 2014

San Mateo County election office has no opinion on e-initiatives; notes current ban

David Tom is the Registration & Elections Division Manager in the office of Mark Church, Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder and Chief Elections Officer of San Mateo County.

In an e-mail sent today to Etopia News, he said:

“This office currently does not have an opinion regarding online signature gathering in California.  The current law does not permit petitions to be signed online.”

“The prospect of electronic petition gathering is intriguing,” says LA County election official

Efrain Escobedo is the Governmental & Legislative Affairs Manager in the office of Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan.  In response to an inquiry from Etopia News about the Department’s views on the e-initiative, he today sent the following reply:

“Elections, as with most all other government services, are in need of retooling for service delivery in the 21st Century.  Los Angeles County is continuously working to identify new tools and techniques that expand and enhance our service delivery. 

“Expanding and protecting access to the electoral process is a top priority for our office, as is providing this service efficiently.   In the last decade we have seen a number of innovations from online voter registration to automated signature recognition to verify vote by mail ballots.   We expect that new innovations will continue to emerge in this age of rapid development.  However, it is still important that these new tools and practices prove they are accurate, secure and reliable.  Democracy is the one thing we can’t afford to have go offline. 

“The prospect of electronic petition gathering is intriguing.  Local election officials will watch closely as California considers this practice both from a technological and legal perspective.  As with all innovations, it will have to endure these tests before it can be implemented in a state with nearly 18 million registered voters.”

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Online voter registration is working great in California

According to California Department of Motor Vehicles (CA DMV) Public Information Officer Artemio Armenta:

“As of today, the number of Secretary of State requests have been 1,666,304 since the system went live in September 2012.”

These “requests” refer to the number of times that the Secretary of State’s online voter registration system has accessed the DMV Driver License and Identification Database in order to authenticate voter registrations or allow changes to a voter's registration record.