Debra Bowen will be sworn in as California's new Democratic Secretary of State tomorrow. The ceremony can be seen here: http://www.debrabowen.com/inauguration
We met Debra last February at a blogger's meeting along with Kevin Drum, Brad Friedman, Mark Kleiman, Marc Danziger, and several others. She's really smart, and very committed to non-partisan voting integrity. By that I mean she's against the Diebold machines with no verifiable paper trail, and wants to make sure all votes are counted accurately, unlike her predecessor.
California's lucky to have her. Sadly, we still have Arnie, too.
Update: Brad Friedman, the hardest working blogger on election reform and Diebold hackery adds this from his Friday piece:
Columnist Thomas D. Elias, of the Ventura County Star, has written the single best MSM article we've ever read on the problems with the current state of our electoral system. Period.
In covering changes planned by incoming CA Secretary of State Debra Bowen, Elias --- for the first time, at least that I've ever seen anywhere in the MSM --- squarely places the blame for the entire fine mess we're in exactly where it belongs: On the voting machine companies and the elections officials who have been their enablers and apologists...An anxious time is just about to begin for the two interest groups that have done more than anyone else in recent years to make Californians feel uncertain about the integrity of their elections.
Those two groups: The makers of electronic voting machines of various types, many of whose devices have been shown to be both hackable and problematic in other ways. And county voter registrars who bought those machines largely with many millions of dollars derived from the federal Help America Vote Act, which was more concerned about speed of conversion to new technologies than whether they were trustworthy.
On Bowen's plans for full 'top to bottom review' of outgoing SoS McPherson's rubber-stamp certification of all electronic voting machines..."We are going to do a top to bottom review of every voting system in use anywhere in California," Bowen said in an interview. "Yes, I would consider decertifying machines that my predecessor approved. Unfortunately, we've spent a lot of money on equipment that's not ready for prime time. Any Fortune 500 company would have sent those machines back with a letter saying they just don't do what they're supposed to."
On the truth (finally!) about the feckless and incompetent McPherson...Her appointed predecessor and defeated autumn opponent, the former Republican State Sen. Bruce McPherson of Santa Cruz was anything but a skeptic, certifying virtually any machine any county registrar wanted to buy and imposing questionable checks on their performance.