$ 450 Million to Improve California Voting System

In order to facilitate voting in California, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and State Secretary Alex Padilla today promoted a bill that seeks to allocate $ 450 million to improve the state’s voting system.

The AB668, which is being debated in the Senate, was introduced in February by Democrat Gonzalez with the support of Secretary Padilla and the backing of Los Angeles County Registrar Dean Logan, among others.

The goal of the measure is to provide “a broad modernization of our voting infrastructure, which will improve the access, security and reliability of our state’s elections,” said Gonzalez and Padilla.

González explained that the budget line requesting the legislative proposal, in addition to updating the voting systematization teams that have been in existence for more than 10 years, seeks to develop electronic mail ballot tracking, to facilitate voter registration on the same day of voting. Voting, expanding information in different languages ​​and improving cyber security, among others.

If approved, AB668 will authorize the issuance and sale of bonds for the specified amount “to assist counties in purchasing specific voting equipment and technology.”

The proposal however has met opposition among others from the California Association of Voting Officials (CAVO) representing “a group of renowned computer scientists who have pioneered open source election systems.”

CAF secretary Brent Turner explained in a statement sent to Efe that although the proposed law can help to obtain reliable voting systems, it can also be used to buy inappropriate and unsafe equipment.

The aid can be used “by localities in California to get systems of unsafe, overpriced and proprietary procedures from private companies,” Turner said.

However, Padilla defended the initiative ensuring that it will be invested in reliable and secure equipment and systems.

“We do not give up on a technology 20 years behind on our phones and laptops,” Padilla said.

The measure will continue its process in the California legislature and to be passed by lawmakers would go to general vote in June 2018.

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