Assemblymember Ting’s legislation to explore online voting passes key committee
Sacramento – Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting (D-San Francisco) presented the merits of legislation he authored to create a pathway to online voting for Californians. AB 19, heard in the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee today, would allow counties to explore the utilization of secure voting systems with a goal of improving election-day efficiencies, promoting increased access to voting and improving participation in the democratic process. The bill passed out of the committee on a 4 to 2 vote.
“Security issues must be fully addressed before online voting can be viable, and we understand strict security measures will make or break online voting. That is why I included significant stop gaps in the bill, including simultaneous testing of the technology and required certification by the Secretary of State after a vender-paid, top-to-bottom review. But it is important to remember that no existing voting system is perfect,” Ting said. “AB 19 will get the ball rolling on an online voting system that works. Now, voter turnout is too low to ignore. In 2013, the Los Angeles mayor and city council primary had a dismal 16 percent turnout rate.”
Assemblymember Ting has long advocated for the advancement of public participation in government through innovative technology. In 2010, As San Francisco’s Assessor-Recorder, he launched Reset San Francisco, an interactive website to empower San Franciscans to make their voices heard at City Hall. The online community brainstorms creative ideas and innovative solutions from city residents and policy experts to make the city's government more efficient and effective. AB 19 is a logical next step to realizing the ubiquity of computing and the inevitability of voting online.
“As voters grow accustomed to a world in which they complete more and more personal and business tasks over the internet, including voter registration, it is counterintuitive that they cannot use the internet to participate in the electoral process,” Ting told the committee. “Our current election system is broken. We need to modernize the system for the sake of democracy.”
Assemblymember Ting is the Chair of Assembly Democratic Caucus and the Assembly Select Committee on Asia/California Trade and Investment Promotion, and he serves on the Budget, Business, Professions and Consumer Protection, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials and the Revenue and Taxation committees.