Sacramento, CA -- Yesterday California Governor Gavin Newsom announced his choiceto replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to represent Californians in the U.S. Senate is Alex Padilla, California’s current Secretary of State.
Gov. Newsom’s pick for California’s next Secretary of State is Dr. Shirley Weber, a California Assemblymember representing the San Diego area.
“The California Voter Foundation applauds these choices," said Kim Alexander, CVF's president and founder. "We hope Secretary Padilla brings his passion for making elections more inclusive and secure to the U.S. Senate and continues advocating for federal funding to support local election administration and stronger U.S. election security standards.”
CVF staff and board members have worked with every administration of the California Secretary of State’s office since 1994. “We look forward to working with California’s next Secretary of State, Dr. Shirley Weber, a champion of civil rights and voter protection, and addressing the challenges ahead together,” Alexander said.
Alex Padilla has served as California’s Secretary of State since 2015, and led the way to innovative changes, including the Voter’s Choice Act which introduced universal mail-in voting and in-person vote centers, and automatic voter registration through the DMV.
Under his watch, California’s eligible voter registration rate rose from 73 percent to 88 percent. He, along with other election leaders, crafted a strategy early on in the pandemic to ensure Californians could safely vote, resulting in the highest turnout rate since 1952.
Secretary Padilla required counties to update their voting equipment and adhere to modern and secure California voting technology standards adopted in 2015. He also secured the funding counties needed to finance this transition in time for the 2020 election. He was the first Secretary of State to attend and speak at DefCon’s Voting Village and established an Election Cybersecurity department within the Secretary of State’s office.
He and his staff have worked with CVF and others to pilot risk-limiting audits and explore innovations to California’s long-standing post-election verification audit processes. And Secretary Padilla has advocated for and implemented reforms to address vote-by-mail ballot rejection, helping to raise the November 2020 mail ballot acceptance rate to a reported record high of nearly 99.5 percent.
About the California Voter Foundation
The California Voter Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working through research, oversight, outreach and demonstration projects to improve the election process so that it better serves the needs and interests of voters. CVF-News is a free, electronic newsletter featuring news and updates about the California Voter Foundation's projects and activities.