Ron Placone interviews Ruben Major, Candidate for California Secretary of State where the two discuss the recent ACLU lawsuits against the current Secretary of state, net neutrality, and other election systems issues. Ruben is not taking corporate donations and relies on grassroots support and funding for his campaign.
Jeanine Keltner interviews Ruben Major, Secretary of State Candidate on KVMR Radio on how the topic of paper ballots, faulty election equipment, and improper voting procedures across the country (including in California) impacted the 2016 election and how important it is that we restore confidence in our voting systems through concrete action rather than denial. Ruben also discusses the importance of publicly owned election systems and how the vote counting process should be neutral, where the officeholder should withhold endorsements as the Secretary of State is so heavily involved in election systems management.
Is this the kind of behavior we would expect from a “Champion of Voting Rights?”
If you’ve voted – or are planning to vote – with a mail-in ballot, you still can not rely on your vote being counted.
That’s because countyelection officials may decide to throw out your ballot and not tell you about it—with the full approval from the current Secretary of State.
In March we told you about a court case against Secretary of State Alex Padilla that revealed as many as 45,000 mail-in ballots cast in the Nov. 2016 election were discarded by election officials because, in the opinion of those officials, the signature on the envelope did not match the signature on file in the voter registration system. Those voters were never notified that their ballot had been trashed and not given a chance to correct the issue.
In fact, California law says that you only have until Election Day to correct any signature problems. And Padilla isn’t interested in rectifying this practice until AFTER the primary, despite a Court Order asking him to comply beforehand.
The judge in the case commented that it was possible some people’s ballots had been getting tossed for years. For this reason, among many others, the judge ruled the process unconstitutional and ordered Secretary Padilla to – at the very least – work out a system where voters would be notified if there was a question about the signature on their mail-in ballot envelope.
But Padilla has now appealed that ruling, and as a result the ruling has been stayed, and not gone into effect. Some of the arguments used to justify the practice are downright undemocratic. Read the arguments Padilla uses to justify vote-by-mail voter suppression below:
Thus your mail-in ballot is still in danger of being tossed without you knowing it. And the appeal will not be heard until AFTER the June 5 primary. There is a slight, but unlikely chance the judge will lift the stay.
Because of Secretary Padilla’s insistence on fighting the court ruling, your only way to check that your vote will be counted is to verify the status of your mail-in ballot. You can do that by calling your county elections office, or by checking at https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/#mainCont.
I’m running for Secretary of State to ensure your mail-in ballot counts. I will fight for due process notification, such as a letter, email, phone call, etc… and an opportunity to correct any issues resulting in ballots which might be thrown away as well as a two-week period where voters can make such a correction. We need to put a stop to all of this nonsense and bring security and integrity to our voting system; that means paper ballots and 100% audit of those ballots at the polling places, secure election systems, protected and accurate lists, open-source software and publicly owned election machines.
Secretary Padilla and his legal team are fighting tooth and nail to suppress the vote here. Some of the procedures Padilla is using to administer California’s vote-by-mail process are unconstitutional. Our best hope are informed voters who want to stop such disenfranchisement from occurring in the future.
Please vote for me in the June 5 primary so we can get these problems resolved. Encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same.
Tell them you’re Running with Ruben for Major Change, and they should, too!
Thank you for your support!
Candidate for Secretary of State “Run with Ruben for Major Change”
I’m thrilled to announce that our community support is skyrocketing, and we have SEVEN new endorsements to share! What a week!
SGV Progressive Alliance, Resistance SF, Democrats of Pasadena Foothills, Justice Party of California, Mira Costa College Democrats, Revolution LA, and San Leandro Talk have all decided to endorse Ruben Major as their candidate of choice for California Secretary of State!
We’ve taken our progressive message about real election integrity, getting corporate hands off of our votes, and 100% PAPER BALLOTS directly to the people and they are responding!
With continued support and our fantastic team of volunteers and activists, this month we’ve shattered our previous website and social media records, engaged with thousands of voters all across the state, and even helped to spread the word nationally about all of the things we must do to fix our elections.
Now is the time to turn that support into votes. For voters who have already voted, thank you! If you have not already voted and plan to vote by mail, remember the deadline to request a mail-in ballot is May 26. And if you plan to vote in person on June 5 here is a link to finding your local polling place: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/polling-place/#mainCont
Without election integrity, NONE of our chosen candidates can ever be guaranteed a fair election. Without transparency, we will never be sure that the will of the people is being heard. Without trust in the process, I’m afraid our democracy will be lost.
Thank you, as always, for your continued support! I couldn’t do this without each and every one of you!
Candidate for Secretary of State
“Run With Ruben for Major Change”
It’s been less than two months since the ACLU’s victory against Secretary of State Alex Padilla in the case over voter disenfranchisement due to nearly 45,000 discarded mail-in ballots, but there is new cause for concern. Recently, current Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced a decision to reduce the number of precincts where language assistance services are available to voters.
In addition to the 45,000+ voters previously disenfranchised, according to a California court, the ACLU alleges a new violation of California state law which is likely to disenfranchise and deprive another 80,000+ Californians who are legally required to receive assistance per current California law from receiving language services to which they are entitled.
the ACLU alleges a violation of California state law which is likely to disenfranchise and deprive 80,000+ Californians who are legally required to receive assistance per current California law from receiving language services to which they are entitled. It is unimaginable to why the Secretary of State would choose to take such blatant action to suppress and disenfranchise the eligible voters in this state. The ACLU indicated in its briefing that this decision affects those who speak over 34 languages, including Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, and Russian.
Why is the Secretary of State DENYING language assistance to so many voters, especially when such assistance is REQUIRED BY LAW??
California deserves better than this. We deserve a Secretary of State who will follow the law, not invent new interpretations of it to disenfranchise and suppress voting. We deserve elections that are fair, legal rights to be protected, and votes to be counted securely and in a way that is transparent to the public. We deserve a Secretary of State we can trust.
I am an EMT, a business owner, a father and a husband. I have a degree in military history and a law degree, as well as training in counter-terrorism. Most importantly, I will not be corrupted by corporate donations. I’m running a grassroots campaign from many small contributions because I will answer to THE PEOPLE, not a handful of wealthy donors. I have travelled all over the state to spread the word to voters that another way is possible. Until we can be assured that our votes are protected and our elections secure, how can we expect to accomplish any of our other goals?
It takes YOUR voice to speak up against institutional discrimination and injustice. It takes YOUR voice to make a true difference in our democracy. We can WIN, but we must WIN TOGETHER!
Last week, our campaign sent a protest letter to the Secretary of State for their denial of our request to audit a portion of the voting system — a request which the office MUST officially approve. Read our response here:
With so many issues surrounding the security of our elections in recent years, it is critical for those in charge of our voting systems to ensure the highest degree of transparency and integrity. Unfortunately, this has not historically been the case and has really led to the current crisis of confidence in our Democracy. We have seen political motivations and aspirations held at higher regard than ensuring every vote counts. And when something goes wrong, those in charge are all-to-quick to say everything is operating perfectly.
However, we have already passed a point of no return with regard to our election infrastructure. No longer can anyone simply claim that everything is fine, but that is what keeps happening. We have seen a true lack of accountability from officials in this arena. Additionally, practices continue where there is a real attempt to hide information which might uncover the truth — and this is perhaps even more damaging to our Democracy.
This is why Mike Farb and our team have been working to gain a better understanding of not just what’s happening nationwide, but also within California. The goal of our analysis is to #unhackthevote. And when it comes to statistical analyses of our voter registration/election systems, Farb has produced content which has been used to push for nationwide reform to improve our democratic process. The idea being that transparency is required in order to restore confidence in our election systems. Voters deserve to know what is happening and also what will be done to secure our election systems as soon as possible. For this reason, we have been fighting for publicly owned election systems and 100% paper ballot audits.
The NEW form, revised on the SAME DAY the OLD form was sent to our campaign demonstrates a clear problem since we were DENIED our request to retrieve information based upon sending in an OLD form. It thus appears that the form was either changed as a result of us making an inquiry or there is clear negligence in not letting us know about the new form. Either way, this demonstrates a problem with the administration of the Secretary of State’s office.
(See the Revision Date “1/24” – The Same Day the SOS Office Emailed Us the OLD Form)
View the full form below, revised on January 24, 2018:
Then our request was DENIED on the basis of not having turned in the NEW form.
These procedural tricks demonstrate a lack of transparency from those in charge of our governmental institutions and most importantly do nothing but fuel the fire of distrust and discord in our democratic process.
I am running to restore faith in our institutions and I believe in order to do this, we must conduct a full analysis of our voting systems from top to bottom as Debra Bowen did in 2007 in California. The people have a right to know what is happening with their election systems if fundamental and I intend to make this happen as your Secretary of State.
We are excited to announce that the San Diego Progressive Democratic Club and Our Revolution Long Beach have just endorsed Ruben Major for California Secretary of State.
The mission of the San Diego Progressive Democratic Club is “to create a more just society by advocating for issues and supporting candidates who advance progressive policies.” The club is working to create a government that works for and truly represents the people by getting dark money out of politics and supporting grassroots activism on issues such as human rights, social justice, and environmental protection.
Our Revolution is on a mission to “reclaim democracy for the working people of our country by harnessing the transformative energy of the “political revolution.'” The Long Beach chapter of the organization unites grassroots activists from Long Beach, South Bay, and Orange County, promoting progressive values and candidates.
These endorsements add to the growing list of supporters from progressive and grassroots organizations throughout the state and country. Major is running on a platform of securing our elections through publicly-owned open source software, paper ballots, and full precinct-level audits. He is in favor of getting dark money out of politics and is not accepting any corporate donations, relying only on individual donors and grassroots activism to spread his message of government transparency, improved cybersecurity, and accountability.
Just LAST MONTH, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a new study on election security in all 50 states. Unfortunately, California… the “Tech Capital of the World” earned a mediocre grade of “C.”
The job of the Secretary of State is to make sure our elections are functioning properly and the CAP study shows that something is VERY wrong. The study evaluated election security including cybersecurity, after-election recounts/audits, voting machine certification, and more.
The study noted that states receiving a grade of C “have SIGNIFICANT VULNERABILITIES that leave them susceptible to HACKING and infiltration by sophisticated nation-states.” Of course, vulnerabilities are a concern no matter who may be attempting to access our voting systems.
The assessments of ballot accounting and reconciliation and paper absentee ballots as “Unsatisfactory” are particularly concerning. Even areas where California received a grade of “Fair,” big corporate election software makes regular audits nearly impossible to verify.
I’m running for California Secretary of State because I believe that we can do better, and that in fact, we MUST do better if we want to protect our democracy from all attacks, whether foreign or domestic. By ensuring that we have paper ballots, full precinct-level audits, and PUBLICLY-OWNED/OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE, we can improve the security and transparency of our elections and restore the trust of the public.
Ruben Major Secretary of State Candidate “Running with Ruben for Major Change”
For the past several months, we’ve been campaigning to end California’s discriminatory practice of disenfranchising minority voters who see their mail-in ballots thrown away nearly TWICE as much as non-minorities.
Additionally, California has seen tens of thousands of mail-in ballots thrown out on the basis of signature mismatches and has not provided proper notification to voters when their votes are not going to be counted. This has been a known issue for several years, but has gone forward without any solution.
Now the ACLU has sued the current Secretary of State and won.
It shouldn’t take a lawsuit to resolve this problem. At best, this issue shows negligence when it comes to protecting YOUR vote. Even worse, the Secretary of State’s office has defended disenfranchisement practices by calling injury to voters deprived of the right to vote “slight” in an official court filing. (see page 5 below).
It’s time for a Major Change. It’s time to elect a Secretary of State who stands up for the voting rights of Californians and isn’t afraid to go against those who might otherwise seek to restrict the right to vote. Help us bring integrity back to the office. Help us win by making a contribution of any amount below
Ruben Major Secretary of State Candidate “Running with Ruben for Major Change”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]