A few months ago, I heard a news story that there are currently 11 counties in the state that have over 100% voter registration. I learned that it is the Secretary of State’s job to enforce all election laws in this state. As I studied the issue, I realized that the current Secretary of State has failed to enforce the basic election law requiring the removal from the voter rolls those who have died and moved. I ended up writing an opinion article about California’s voter registration problems.

If the Secretary of State has failed to enforce such a simple election law, what other election laws has he not enforced? Just how secure is our ballot here in California?

What is the purpose of elections? It is not to create work for thousands of election workers across this state. The reason we have elections is because we are a Republic. Every time we look at our California flag, we are reminded that we live in the California Republic. Living in a Republic means that citizens of this state have both the right and the duty to select their representatives. Our representatives then decide the laws that govern our state. This is one of the fundamental reasons why the colonists decided to declare their independence from England in 1776.

It is not the duty of the politicians to tell the citizens what to think. When the people go to the polls to vote, they are expressing their opinion as to the direction that they want this state to go. It is critical that the voice of the people is heard loud and clear across this great state. The only way the voice of the people is heard properly is if the election laws are enforced fairly across the state.

When the Secretary of the State does not enforce election laws by removing from the voter rolls those who have moved or died the politicians are able to claim that there is a large percentage of registered voters. However, because these individuals have moved or passed away, it creates the perception that a low percentage of citizens have voted. This generates news articles about voter apathy. When politicians read news articles about voter apathy, they take that as their clue that they need to pass new laws to make it easier for people to vote. Thus we have the absurd position where politicians are wasting government resources attempting to fix a problem that may not have actually existed.

If you have followed politics in California for the last couple of years, you have probably heard some concern about whether non-citizens are casting ballots. The California Constitution clearly states that you must be a United States Citizen who lives in the state of California in order to vote in this state. Just last week, the Pennsylvania Secretary of State appears to have resigned to avoid dealing with a scandal about non-citizens voting.

With as much ink that has been used discussing whether non-citizens are voting in this state, the Secretary of State owes it to all Californians to conduct an honest and open audit of the voter rolls to make sure that only citizens are voting. In fact, I would argue that failure to conduct such an audit actually violates one of the express duties required by this state of its Secretary of State. By failing to conduct such an audit, the Secretary of State is thumbing his nose at Californians saying that he is above the law and he can pick and chose which laws he obeys and which ones he ignores. The process of comparing California voter rolls with official government databases to ensure that someone is a citizen should be an easy process that should take minutes.

I believe that the counting of your vote should not be a partisan issue. The current Secretary of State, by failing to obey the law requiring him to enforce the election laws, has done just that. This needs to change.

In addition to being the chief election official for the state of California, one of the other major duties of the Secretary of State is to be the first contact with entrepreneurs who need to register to do business in this state. As an attorney who has not only registered his own business but has helped clients with their interactions with the Secretary of State, it is time for the Secretary of State’s office to get out of the Stone Age and enter the 21st Century. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand all the studies that regularly show that California is one of the worst states in ease of starting a new business.

California is the golden state. From our very beginning, people have migrated to this state because they are independent and they want a better life for themselves and their families. People do not move to California because they want great welfare benefits, they move because they believe that California will give them a chance to see if they can turn their dreams into a reality. Unfortunately, the California Secretary of State is just the first of many government entities that tries to put undue burden on the dreams of hard working Americans.

When I was growing up, I was taught that California is the most innovative state in the most innovative country in the entire world. California was where people went if they had big dreams. I was raised in a day when business innovation was encouraged by the government. That really was not all that long ago. Instead of finding ways to use new technology to serve the people of California better, California government has been flooded with special interests that are only concerned with taking care of their pet projects.

I do not believe that a requirement for establishing a business in this state is that you be a large corporation which can afford to hire a multitude of attorneys and accountants. By not modernizing the Secretary of State’s office to update the rules and procedures for registering and maintaining a business in this state, the current Secretary of State has done just that. This needs to change.

Many people have asked me is there any hope for a Republican to win statewide in California? In 2014, Pete Peterson, who ran a great campaign on a shoestring budget, ended up running a very competitive race against the current Secretary of State. In 2016, both Washington and Oregon elected a Republican Secretary of State. I believe that Californians are tired of a government who continues to oppress them and fails in its duties to protect and serve its citizens in the most basic matters.

Together we can win this race and together we can return this state to its former glory where California government was an innovator and incubator for good government.