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Counted As Cast is about election systems, so it is about democracy. Fair and accurate elections are mission-critical to government. Risky election systems put our government at risk. Here we look at some of the issues, and suggest some ideas on how to make our elections more efficient and secure.

Strategic: Cressman for California State Senate !!!!

Among the 40 races that will take place this year for California state senate, for those focusing on the integrity of our elections, one stands out as strategic – Derek Cressman for the 6th district, near Sacramento. Derek ran for Secretary of State in 2012, and had the active support of the Voting Rights Task Force, and advocates across the state. This is because of his 20+ year history of working for clean money in elections, and clean elections. He is very knowledgeable and articulate about election issues and details. He also understands politics and legislation well.

The strategic aspect is that in 4 years, Secretary of State Padilla will term out, and a Senator Cressman would be in a good position to run for the office, as Senator Debra Bowen did in 2006. When he announced on December 8th that he is running, it was the best election integrity news I heard all year. I can see a path forward towards strengthening California’s election laws, regulations and practices. Long term, this is hugely important for democracy, as was the election of Debra Bowen 12 years ago. The first step is to get Derek in the Senate this year. That is why I am asking you to support Derek as much as you can with your time, money, and votes.

His opponent is Senator Pan, a democrat who did not support single payer healthcare. Derek does. Pan is vulnerable.

The website is: http://derekcressman.com

For election policy wonks, I asked Derek a few questions a while ago. Here they are, with the answers:

Q: You’ve been working, as I remember, on clean money for at least 20 years. Correct?

Since 1995.

Q: If elected, would you ask for a seat on the the Senate Elections Committee?


Q: What is your position on Risk Limiting Audits?

I support mandatory audits. The concept of prioritizing audits for close races makes some sense, but ideally we would be auditing every race at a scale that would provide confidence that results are accurate. If there is a problem with a machine or process, that’s worth finding even if the outcome was not close.

Q: Making, retaining and publishing digital ballot images?

Absolutely. This would allow citizen groups to conduct their own audits on whatever scale they wanted.

Q: Open source?

I think open source is a good idea, but that does not mean than any election system that utilizes open source will necessarily be secure, accurate, or accessible so we need to maintain testing, certification, audits, etc.

I just got this from Derek as a reply to a question about corporate donations:

I am personally refusing to take corporate campaign donations. See the fine print on my donations page here: http://derekcressman.com/donate/

Further, I have called for state legislation banning all candidates and parties from accepting corporate contributions: http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/soapbox/article152948174.html

In terms of clean money, I was a co-chair of the campaign to pass Prop 15 in 2010, which would have established public financing for Secretary of State races. In 2012, I led efforts to place a question on the Montana ballot which called for Citizens United to be overturned and explicitly declared that corporations are not people. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/07/citizens-united-rejected-montana-colorado_n_2089949.html I also was the campaign director for Common Cause’s efforts to pass Prop 59 here in California, which was similar to the MT effort. http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/soapbox/article106503392.html

Now imagine a clean money champion like Derek in the Senate. And 4 years later, as California Secretary of State. This is why getting Derek into the Senate this year is so strategically important.

The website is: http://derekcressman.com