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State of California June 3, 2014 Election
Smart Voter

Making Sure Voters Know Who's Funding Campaigns: Increasing Transparency through Technology

By Alex Padilla

Candidate for Secretary of State

This information is provided by the candidate
Restoring trust in government is essential to a strong democracy. As Secretary of State, Alex Padilla will strengthen campaign finance regulations and increase campaign disclosure requirements.
We need to take advantage of the immense talent in our state and use technology where appropriate to make election information more accessible in languages every Californian can understand. Transparency is one way to restore faith in government and increase civic engagement in our tremendously diverse state. We need to make sure our voter databases are accurate and reliable. California's voter registration system is a patchwork of outdated technologies spread out over 58 counties. Our voter registration technology lags behind almost every other state. California can adopt new technology to increase voter access to registration, ensure accuracy and integrity, save taxpayer dollars and increase voter participation. Voters have the right to know how campaigns are financed. In California the public learns about campaign finance through the Secretary of State's database known as Cal-Access, which provides information about donations and expenditures of candidates, donors and lobbyists. In December 2011 Cal-Access crashed, and was unusable for a month. The system relies on software that is almost 20 years old. As Secretary of State, Alex Padilla will:
  • Give voters the online tools to track their registration information, the status of their provisional ballot, sign up to vote by mail, and receive the latest election information through email and text.
  • Make it easier to register to vote and update your information when visiting the DMV and other state agencies.
  • Strengthen campaign finance reporting rules and close loopholes.
  • Increase transparency by modernizing and improving CalACCESS.
  • Advocate for stronger campaign finance laws.
In addition, as part of Alex's proposed Accountability & Campaign Transparency (ACT) Plan he will:
  • Ban contributions to legislators in the final 100 days of a legislative session.
  • Require weekly contribution disclosures.
  • Require overnight disclosure of advertising.
  • Restrict politicians to one campaign at a time.

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