Jerry Brown urged to take control of California’s campaign finance database

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A state senator who is running for secretary of state is urging Gov. Jerry Brown to take over California’s beleaguered online campaign finance database, which was down for most of last month.


In a letter last week, Alex Padilla, a Sylmar Democrat who has formed a campaign committee for a 2014 secretary of state campaign, asked Brown to take ‘immediate action to ensure the integrity of the 2012 election.’

Padilla pointed out that the Cal-Access database -- based on creaky, decade-old code that predated Facebook -- crashed in late November, also taking down the state’s voter registration database, CalVoter.

That prevented local election officials from registering new voters or verifying signatures on petitions to place questions on the 2012 ballot.

‘A repeat of such a failure during the busy election season would have devastating consequences on voter registration and election integrity,’ Padilla wrote. ‘In this election year, where critical initiatives will be on the ballot, we cannot allow election results to be called into question.’

A spokeswoman for Secretary of State Debra Bowen, a Democrat who is termed out in 2014, said she could not respond because Padilla’s letter had not arrived.

Gil Duran, a spokesman for Brown, said: ‘We stand ready to work with the secretary of state if she requests assistance.’

[Corrected at 10 am Tuesday: The secretary of state’s office said a backup system permitted voter registration updates and signature verification during last month’s crash.]


California campaign database back online

California donor database offline since Nov. 30

State trails in online tools for voters, study finds

-Nicholas Riccardi in Sacramento