January 9, 2012

California Deserves a 21st Century Voting System

DEBRA BOWEN, California's Secretary of State, "...campaigned as a tech-savvy innovator but has failed to significantly update or improve the state's clunky elections systems," says an editorial in the Sacramento Bee. Bowen blames the state's size and complexity and a cumbersome state government procurement process that requires her office to get clearance from both the Department of General Services and the California Office of Technology before it can take action.

"She's right about the obstacles. Nonetheless, after five years in office and tens of millions in state and federal funds expended, the public is weary of excuses. California want and deserve a modern election system, one that allows them to do at least what voters in Oregon, Washington and Arizona can do - register to vote online."

California has received around $500 million to modernize its voter registration and vote tabulation systems.

"But the fixes remain incomplete...a statewide voter registration database that would allow counties to easily and speedily clear deadwood from voting rosters, and to update registrations when voters move, remains undone. California is the ONLY state in the union that has failed to put a final voter database in place..."

Editorial readers' comments include - "It is incomprehensible that California, the home of the IT revolution, is the only state in the union that has failed to modernize their voter registration and vote tabulation systems." And, "I would be very willing to have a 20th century system, if we can only upgrade out politicians."

>Read the editorial here

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