April 26, 2017 (SACRAMENTO) California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) and Secretary of State Alex Padilla today won approval of legislation asking the voters to fund the upgrade of outdated elections equipment across the state. Assembly Bill 668 was approved by the Assembly Committee on Elections and Redistricting on a vote of 5-1.
“Voting is the most important right we have, and we need to do everything we can to make voting easy and accessible. This investment in upgrades will provide better equipment for county election officials and funding for election best practices, like expanded early voting and establishing voting centers,” stated Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher. “A healthy democracy begins with healthy and functional voting systems.”
“Today’s vote by the Assembly Elections Committee recognizes that California voting equipment is perilously near life expectancy. We wouldn’t settle for 20-year old technology in our cell phones and computers – our voting systems should be no different. In addition to funding, AB 668 also makes California the leader in promoting and funding open source options for counties.”
AB 668, known as the Voting Modernization Bond Act of 2018, will place a ballot measure on the 2018 ballot asking voters to approve $450 million in bond sales to fund voting upgrades. Funds would be allocated on a matching basis, with the state investing three dollars to match every dollar from local governments. This approach is the same that was taken in the Voting Modernization Bond Act of 2002, which was approved by voters in the wake of the disputed 2000 general election results from the state of Florida.