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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2019
SOS Press Office
SACRAMENTO –Today, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 1 – the For the People Act. The bill passed with a final vote of 234 to 193. Secretary of State Alex Padilla issued the following statement in response.
“The security and accessibility of our elections is paramount to our democracy. While the President has failed to take seriously the threats to our elections, I applaud the House of Representatives for taking action. Today’s vote advances a bold set of reforms that provided a critical national framework for better securing our elections and better protecting the voting rights of all citizens. Defending the integrity of our elections and modernizing the voting experience requires federal, state, and local officials to work together in partnership. Senator McConnell’s pledge to block this legislation imperils these efforts. Threats to our democracy will only continue, and a failure to act could jeopardize our free and fair elections.”
Last month, Secretary Padilla testified to the US House Homeland Security Committee hearing on election cybersecurity and critical issues facing state and local elections systems. The public hearing, “Defending Our Democracy: Building Partnerships to Protect America’s Elections,” was part of a series of hearings on H.R. 1, the For the People Act.
Secretary Padilla urged members of congress to support the modernization of election infrastructure. The 2018-2019 state budget included $134.3 million for counties to replace aging voting systems. This was the first significant funding towards voting systems in California in 15 years, but federal support remains lacking. Recently, Secretary Padilla initiated a process for upgrading California’s election technology and infrastructure. All California county election officials must upgrade to voting systems that satisfy the state’s newest testing and certification standards ahead of the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election.