Given your experience advocating for voting reforms in your state, what advice do you wish you had been given that election officials or other reform advocates could use in their own efforts to improve voting?
Well I think for a lot of organizers and mobilizers out there, we already know that we gotta be bold, to be bold. A lotta times we’re met with resistance, though, from these bold pro-voter ideas by folks who say, well, administratively it’s gonna be difficult, logistically it’s a challenge, or an existing state law says this. There’s a lotta resistance sometimes from folks who have to implement these good ideas, by saying it’s gonna add to our workload, but we can be bold, because being secure and accessible in our elections and making our elections as accessible as possible are not mutually exclusive. They can go hand in hand, they do go hand in hand, and we’re showing the way in California.
When you became California’s secretary of state, what was the most surprising thing you learned about voting?
When I was campaigning for secretary of state in 2014, the bulk of our campaign and the questions I got was what can we do to get more people to register to vote? What can we do to get more people actually casting their ballots? We were focusing on participation and turnout. Almost nobody asked me questions about election security and cyberthreats, and then 2016 happened. And I think the job of a secretary of state and local election administrators across the country has fundamentally changed since then. And so we still dedicate ourselves to increasing registration, we still dedicate ourselves to improving participation, but we are equally versed in issues of election security and cyberdefense.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction