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July 13, 2012

Contact: Shannan Velayas
(916) 653-6575

New Open-Government Tool on Secretary of State Website

SACRAMENTO - Now there's an easier way to find how long state government records will be retained, and what records might be transferred to the California Secretary of State’s Archives Division, thanks to an online database launched today.

Dubbed "Athena," the one-stop shop for state record retention schedules dating back more than 20 years is at

Overall, 5,328,296 voters participated in the election, which is 31.1% of the total voters registered in the state. The lowest voter turnout for any statewide election in California was 28.2% in June 2008.

California's State Records Management Act requires that each state agency maintain a record retention schedule that details the public records the agency will keep, how the records will be managed, and how the agency will legally dispose of non-permanent records. The California Department of General Services (DGS) oversees state agencies' compliance with the rules and procedures the Department established regarding record retention. Details about the state's Records and Information Management Program is at

As part of the records management process overseen by DGS, Secretary of State staff periodically review records to identify those with historic value that might be transferred to the State Archives at the end of their retention periods. Once transferred, such records are examined by archivists who determine whether the records should be retained in the State Archives.

The Secretary of State’s office has been home to the State Archives since 1850. The State Archives maintains the complete records of the official acts of the legislative and executive branches of state government, as well as Golden State history in the form of tens of millions of documents, maps, photographs, film and audio recordings, and other treasures. For more information about the collections, or for assistance on a historical research project, go to

For State Archives news on the go, follow the California Secretary of State's office via Facebook. Go to for more information.