Senator Alex PadillaSACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Calif. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) today announced the introduction of SB 360, which would allow California counties to develop, own and operate public voting systems, subject to approval and certification by the California Secretary of State.

Most California counties purchase their voting systems from one of five private vendors. The vendors offer a variety of systems and upgrades which has resulted in a patchwork of technologies throughout our state. The private vendors consider their technology proprietary and limit public access to both the operating software and hardware. As a result, state election officials and the public are completely dependent upon these companies, who are under no legal obligation to notify federal election officials or the public when their voting systems malfunction, have vulnerabilities or defects.

“Allowing counties to develop, own and operate voting systems will increase voter confidence in the integrity of our elections,” said Senator Alex Padilla. “A public voting system will be more transparent, instill public trust and be more accountable than our current systems,” Padilla added.

The largest county in the nation, Los Angeles County, is seeking to develop its own system. In 2009, the Los Angeles County Registrar/County Clerk launched the Voting Systems Assessment Project (VSAP) with the goal of replacing its 30-year-old system. L.A. County decided to develop its own system after concluding that private vendors could not meet the unique needs of its 10 million residents and more than 500 political districts.

“Who better to develop a new voting system than the election officials we trust to conduct our elections?” added Padilla.

Senator Alex Padilla, 39, graduated from MIT with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He currently serves on the Board of MIT and is President of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. He is Chair of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee and represents the more than 1,100,000 residents of the 20th State Senate District in Los Angeles.

Christopher Laird Simmons has been a creative artist, marketing specialist, working journalist and PR pro for 30 years (he started as a teenager selling his first article in the music business in 1984). He founded Neotrope (formerly Mindset) in 1983, and has written widely for numerous national magazines, and is frequently interviewed by same. He is a member of the PRSA and ASCAP and resides in Los Angeles County, California. He is the Executive Editor, and Publisher, at CaliforniaNewswire®, a publication of Neotrope®.