California Voter Foundation Logo


Brown signs bill to modernize CA voting tech; SoS asks for Cal-Access comments

October 7, 2013

Hi Folks,

There are two major developments to report, this week, both likely to have long term impacts on voting and elections in California.

Over the weekend, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 360 into law, which will help facilitate voting system modernization in Los Angeles and potentially other California counties; more details are featured below.

In addition, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen is seeking public input and ideas for replacing Cal-Access, the state's electronic filing and online disclosure system, with something new and better - more details on this request are below. NOTE: the deadline to submit comments is Oct. 28.

-- Kim Alexander, President & Founder
California Voter Foundation

Brown signs bill to help modernize Los Angeles County voting equipment

Governor Jerry Brown has signed Senate Bill 360, authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Los Angeles) into law. This bill was sponsored by Los Angeles County and supported by the Secretary of State, Verified Voting, and others to advance California voting technology.

Specifically, SB 360:

To learn more about the history of Los Angeles' and California's voting systems, see CVF's January 2013 Policy Brief, "Modernizing California Voting Technology - A Look Back, A Look Ahead".

Also available online is official bill information and the Los Angeles Voting Systems Assessment Project, where extensive information about the county's modernization efforts, underway since 2009, can be found.

The California Voter Foundation congratulates the bill's author, the Legislature, Governor, Los Angeles County, the Secretary of State and all the county registrars and reform advocates who worked on SB 360 throughout the year to improve the legislation and create a path for the next generation of voting system to be developed for Los Angeles. We expect LA's pioneering work will benefit other California counties as well as voters in other states and countries. By creating a new voting system that incorporates nonproprietary technology, disclosed source code and improved election auditing procedures, California and Los Angeles will bring a new and unprecedented level of transparency and accountability to our public voting systems.

Secretary of State seeks public input on state disclosure website replacement

Many longtime users of Cal-Access, the state's online campaign finance and lobbying disclosure web site, have complained for years about the slowness and difficulty encountered when using the site.

Now Secretary of State Debra Bowen is inviting the public to weigh in on what we would like to see in the next iteration of Cal-Access, which is in the early stages of development. According to the Secretary of State's "Request for Information" the agency is aiming to "provide the public with increased access to campaign and lobbying disclosure data." Funding for the replacement system will be coming from fees collected from filers as required by SB 1001 of 2012, authored by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco).

The RFI was released on September 19 with the primary intended audience being prospective vendors. But the Secretary of State is also asking the general public to share with the agency "how you believe a new CAL-ACCESS might better serve the public. All comments are welcome, but the Secretary of State is particularly interested in learning:

Public comments are due by October 28, 2013 and can be sent via email to or by mail to: Secretary of State; Political Reform Division, Rm 495; 1500 11th Street; Sacramento, CA 95814.

Follow CVF on Twitter!

CVF uses Twitter to help our audience connect with important news and developments in the field of voting and elections, and also to offer live tweeting from conferences and events. An archive of tweets and links to relevant stories is available at!/kimalex3.

Follow @kimalex3 on Twitter to get the new, opinion and analysis from CVF's president. Follow @calvoterfdn for CVF announcements.

- - - - - - - - - - -

The California Voter Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting and applying the responsible use of technology to improve the democratic process. CVF-NEWS is a free, electronic newsletter featuring news and updates about the California Voter Foundation's projects and activities.

Contact the California Voter Foundation by:

phone - (916) 441-2494
web -
U.S. Mail - P.O. Box 189277, Sacramento, CA 95818

Support CVF's work with a tax-deductible contribution! Learn more at




Site Map | Privacy Policy | About

This page was first published on August 22, 2013 | Last updated on October 8, 2013
Copyright California Voter Foundation, All Rights Reserved.