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Blog Post · September 13, 2014

California’s Secretary of State Candidates in Conversation

photo - California's Secretary of State Candidates Event

The two candidates running for California secretary of state bring different resumes to the campaign but found much to agree on in a conversation sponsored by PPIC Thursday. Alex Padilla, California state senator, and Pete Peterson, executive director of the Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University, talked about their priorities in a question-and-answer session moderated by Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO.

Both candidates advocated improving the use of technology—to engage voters and improve the voting experience, speed up the disclosure of campaign contributions, and improve the business registration process. Both advocated better use of data and research from outside organizations—from civic engagement groups to the U.S. Census to think tanks and universities—to more proactively register and inform voters. Some of the research PPIC has done on voter participation figured into the discussion of voter engagement, including Voter Turnout in Primary Elections and Expanding California’s Electorate: Will Recent Reforms Increase Voter Turnout?

Each candidate listed a number of goals for their term in office, if elected. Asked to reduce their voter turnout goals to a number, Padilla said he was committed to the addition of 1 million more active voters to the rolls and Peterson said he expected to generate an increase in turnout of 5 or 10 percent.

The event was part of PPIC’s 2014 Speaker Series on California’s Future. PPIC does not support, endorse, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office.


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