David Curtis meets with Evan Goldberg, Chief Deputy to Secretary of State Bowen on July 24th, 2013 in Sacramento. The following are David's (not verbatim) notes from the meeting:
DC asks EG what he thinks of online voting, and if it might become an option at some point?
EG does not support online voting, says it is subject to hacking.
DC asks why in theory can’t people vote via smartphone and generate a receipt? People bank online, why can't they pick a, b or c candidate on a smartphone?
EG says it is against state statute to have a receipt for a vote.
EG discusses the SOS priorities for the next 18 months and beyond:
Voter Database upgrade
Campaign finance database upgrade
Online business filing upgrade
DC There is a need for the market driven forces on the election process to be somehow neutralized into a public process.
DC asks about the concept of using special elections to roll out/test reforms like public financing.
EG says the state statutes bar public funding of elections.
EG suggests that such reforms can be implemented at local level elections.
DC discusses the problem of privatized debates, asks if the SOS has discretion to set policy that debates be public and require invitation to all balloted candidates.
EG says debates are not required by state statute.
DC describes the dynamic of private debates where private security is excluding some candidates and even detaining them. DC gives the example of the 2010 NV Gubernatorial race where a TV debate was held at a private school, only two candidates were included and five minor candidates had to resort to setting up a secondary debate outdoors.
EG points out that it is unlikely there will be TV debates in the Sec of State’s race.
DC discusses the price point problem of legislative races in CA, how it takes $1,000,000 to run for state legislature. DC asks if the SOS would be supportive of making the districts smaller, having more seats in the legislature. EG says it is a legislative issue, but supports it in theory.
DC asks if SOS has discretion to pull business licenses of companies that misbehave.
EG says SOS would need to make a compelling case to the AG.
DC asks EG if he would be running for SOS. EG says he will not be running for SOS.
EG has no plans yet beyond the remaining months of completing his work with SOS.
DC asks EG if the office has seen an abnormal amount of lawsuits compared to other times.
EG says that the lawsuits are not triggered by SOS not following statutes but rather more local conditions.
DC suggests they are chain reactions to conditions.
DC discusses how the top two primary has scrubbed all the minor parties off the general election, and the current process is pay-to-play, the candidate having the most corporate donor money advancing to the general election.
DC discusses how his goal is to have more democracy and a better process, ideally where each balloted candidate gets the same public funding, same air time, equal presentation.
EG offers to have follow up meetings if DC has further questions.