Commentary

02/27/2014  by Alexandra Bjerg

VIDEO: California Secretary of State candidates’ ideas on improving voter participation

A renewed interest in political cartography has surfaced in California. Several northern counties passed secession resolutions and a Silicon Valley venture capitalist proposes carving California up into six separate states. Could redistricting reform have created such excitement that some citizens are simply too eager to wait another six years to redraw California’s political boundaries?

Whatever the inspiration, California Forward remains determined to work towards a more open and inclusive California, ensuring government is more responsive and representative of the people it serves. A quick check of the numbers reveals it won’t be easy.

Despite recent reforms designed to make voting easier, too many Californians still aren’t participating. The state ranks an embarrassing 45th in voter participation. In fact, if all eligible California voters that opted to abstain from voting in 2012 decided to splinter off and form a new state, it would be the 8th most populous state in the union. Think about that. The number of Californians that didn’t bother casting a ballot in the 2012 presidential election is greater than the entire population of the all-important swing state of Ohio.

So what can be done?

The state’s current chief elections official, Secretary of State Debra Bowen, is termed out this year. It will be up to one of the six candidates, which despite the challenges that lie ahead are vying to replace her, to find a solution.

On Monday March 3rd the six candidates for secretary of state will gather in Los Angeles to discuss their ideas about how to improve California’s elections. At this year’s first statewide Candidate Forum, co-sponsored by California Forward, the candidates will be asked to share their thoughts about everything from voting rights and technology to electoral reform and transparency.

Don’t want to wait until Monday to find out how the candidates plan to tackle voter apathy? California Forward’s got you covered; we asked each candidate to name two things you promise do to increase voter participation in California. Watch the video to find out what they said.

[Click here to find out what the candidates for California Secretary of State believe is depressing turnout.]

Categories: Democracy, Elections

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