Issues

Justice for Independents

California must stop treating independent voters as second-class citizens. California makes it almost impossible for independent candidates to get on the ballot. In California, 21% of registered voters are independents. Yet, while members of major parties who run for statewide office in California need to collect only 65 signatures, citizens registered as independents are required to collect 173,041 signatures statewide.

Protect Voter Choice

California voters must protect voter choice in the general election by defeating Prop. 14, also known as the Top-Two Primary, which would result in a November election with only Democrats and Republicans on the ballot, and even prohibit write-ins. Christina will highlight this issue during her campaign. For more information, see the website www.stoptoptwo.org.

Instant Runoff Voting

Christina will promote innovations like Proportional Representation and Instant Runoff Voting, eliminating the election of the “lesser of two evils” and saving valuable taxpayers dollars by making runoff elections unnecessary.

Currently, only charter cities and counties can choose Instant Runoff Voting for their elections. Christina will urge the legislature to allow all local governments to use IRV. As Secretary of State, she will expedite the process of certifying polling equipment for IRV elections, and ensure all voters are educated about their options.

Balance the Budget

California has huge budget problems. We must and we can save money in all areas of government, including election administration. To save taxpayer dollars, as Secretary of State Christina will:

  • Advocate for the replacement of petition requirements with filing fees. Instead of paying for tens of thousands of person hours filing and checking petitions, California could earn revenue from filing fees. Candidates would still have the petition process available as an option, if they could not afford a filing fee.

  • Support a switch to all-mail voting. According to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, San Diego County would save $3 million per election if all-mail voting was implemented. As San Diego County casts 9 percent of the statewide vote, California could presumably save $33 million per election. In even years with two statewide elections, a potential $66 million could be saved.

  • Urge the legislature to let small qualified parties nominate by convention, rather than by primary, if they wish. This idea has the potential to save millions of tax dollars each election year. Most states provide that small qualified parties nominate by convention, at their own expense, rather than by primary.

  • Urge the legislature to repeal unconstitutional election laws, to reduce the likelihood the state will be sued. California has many laws regulating elections which are clearly unconstitutional. For instance, there are eight election laws that impose residency requirements on petition circulators, which the 9th U.S. Circuit Court has ruled states cannot do. Whenever California loses a lawsuit over voting rights issues, it must pay attorney’s fees for both sides.

  • Stop spending money publishing volumes of books, such as election returns, and books on how many registered voters there are in each jurisdiction. California should lead the nation by providing all public documents on the internet, and encouraging the adoption of electronic media. Those who still prefer paper copies should pay for no more than the cost of printing.

    • Open Source Voting Software

      Christina believes the public should be allowed to inspect the software used on voting machines. Currently, California uses closed source software for its voting machines, which the public is forbidden to inspect. Open source software is publicly available, and would allow any member of the public to see the code being used to count their votes.

      Like California, the state of New York uses Sequoia optical scan voting machines. New York requires that all voting machines use open source software, and has successfully used them in multiple elections. New York voters are guaranteed the right to know how their votes are counted. Christina believes California voters deserve the same.

      Participate in Your Government

      California’s initiative process can be improved with the Indirect Initiative. For an initiative to be placed on the ballot, supporters must collect a large number of signatures. The Indirect Initiative would provide another option. If a smaller number of signatures is gathered, an initiative could be introduced into the legislature as a bill. The legislature would be required to hold hearings on the proposed initiative, and free to improve upon it. If the final result did not satisfy an initiative’s supporters, they would have the option to collect the full number of signatures.

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