The incumbent secretary of state of California Debra Bowen is running for re-election.
Prior to holding this office she was a state assemblywoman and a state senator representing communities in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County.
As secretary of state, Bowen’s office is responsible for overseeing elections, supervising all electioneering and lobbyists in the state, and maintaining business records and the state archives.
One of the most important jobs Bowen did when she took office in 2007 was perform a top to bottom evaluation of all the computerized voting systems in the state to see if they could be hacked. As a result of her investigation, four systems (Diebold, Hart InterCivic, Sequoia Voting Systems, and Election Systems and Software) were banned in California because they were deemed too insecure.
I endorse Bowen because she is tech savvy and is well aware of how computerized voting machines have led to serious and sometimes proven allegations of voter fraud in other states. Her office has focused on keeping flawed computerized voting methods out of California’s elections. At the same time, she has used the Internet and state websites to open more legislation and election information to voters.
Her office even began an online voter registration system, called VoteCal, but it has been temporarily suspended while it is reviewed for security. Nonetheless, as more and more aspects of business and government become paperless, online voter registration is a step in the right direction.
Bowen’s Republican opponent is Damon Dunn, a graduate of Stanford University, former professional football player, and real estate developer in Orange County.
Dunn has never held public office before. Nothing is his biography demonstrates he has the skills, tech knowledge or experience to take on the weighty responsibility of supervising elections. He is simply not prepared for the job.
Bowen has been involved in state politics for 14 years and knows how the state works. In 1993, while serving in the legislature, she authored a bill that placed all state legislation information online so citizens and the press would have easy access to the text of all the bills.
Bowen’s office runs an election fraud investigation unit that looks into allegations of voter intimidation and false registration.
The L.A. Times, Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Diego Union-Tribune have endorsed her for a second term.
Her office has steadily placed more business forms and services on their website to help entrepreneurs reach their goals while also working in compliance with state business laws.
Bowen’s office also administers the Safe at Home program, which offers free post office boxes to victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault so they can have a safe address from which to conduct their personal lives.
This election contains many choices to ponder, but a vote for Bowen as secretary of state is an easy choice. She is the clear choice because of her integrity and consistent advocacy for open government.