"Secure the VOTE Act" Aims to Make California Elections More Secure and Transparent
SACRAMENTO, CA -- At a rally in Sacramento this afternoon,
Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los
Angeles) announced AB 1784, which aims to establish an
Open-Source Paper Ballot Voting Systems program. The
measure, joint-authored by Assemblymember David
Chiu (D-San Francisco), Assemblywoman
Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), and Senator
Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) sets aside
resources to help counties update their ballot voting
systems to ensure security and transparency in
"There is no greater threat to the integrity of our
democracy than foreign powers working overtime to hack
their way into our voting systems,"
Assemblymember Santiago said. "AB 1784
is our opportunity to earn voters' trust by kicking private
corporations out of our elections technology and embracing
a totally open-source system that we can secure on our
Assemblymember David Chiu, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez,
and Senator Scott Wiener also made bold statements in
support of the "Secure the VOTE Act."
"Ensuring the integrity of our elections is one of the
most fundamental jobs we have in government" said
Assemblymember David Chiu. "ABÂ
1784 will create a pathway towards the transparent,
open-source voting systems that we need to protect our
"Open source election technology will ensure no single
corporation monopolizes the methods we use to improve our
electoral transparency, security, and accuracy,"
Assemblywoman Gonzalez said. "This
tool will allow the many eyes of experts and the public to
test our systems and catch flaws."
"With California's Presidential primary less than a
year away, and the 2020 general election right around the
corner making sure our elections are secure and transparent
is more important than ever," said Senator
Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). "We need an
open-source paper ballot system that will restore the
voters' trust. Our democracy depends on keeping our
elections open and fair."
Trent Lange, President of the California Clean
Money Campaign, is sponsoring AB 1784. He said,
"At a time of crisis of confidence in our election
systems, we need more secure and transparent voting systems
to replace the insecure secret software from proprietary
vendors being used today. That's why we applaud
Assemblymembers Santiago, Chiu, and Gonzalez for
introducing the 'Secure the VOTE Act' to allow counties to
develop, certify, and create governance for publicly owned
open-source paper ballot voting systems."
California's voting systems are aging, and many counties
throughout the state have been required by the Secretary of
State to replace systems that no longer meet the California
Voting System Standards. ABÂ 1784 would provide up to
$16 million in matching funds to help those counties
overhaul their voting systems quickly and effectively -- so
long as they use open-source paper ballot voting
Voting systems that use technology owned by private
corporations are frighteningly vulnerable to security
threats. Open-source systems would be openly licensed and
therefore open to public inspection, and don't come with
corporate hurdles to security. Any attacks would be far
easier for counties to recognize and defend.
The bill is currently in the Assembly Committee on
Elections and Redistricting.
Assemblymember Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly
Communications and Conveyance Committee, and a member of
both the Assembly Public Safety Committee and the
California Latino Legislative Caucus. He represents the
53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles,
Huntington Park, and Vernon.
CONTACT: Jonathan.Underland@asm.ca.gov, (213) 620-4646
APRIL 10, 2019