Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

VOTER GUIDE | SECRETARY OF STATE

Electronic Voting Machines Factor in Race Between McPherson, Bowen

October 15, 2006|Seema Mehta | Times Staff Writer

The race for secretary of state is shaping up as a referendum on whether California elections are properly run and, in particular, whether electronic voting machines are secure.

Incumbent Bruce McPherson, appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last year to replace disgraced Democrat Kevin Shelley, is arguing that he turned a dysfunctional agency into an efficient, well-run office that has certified five types of electronic voting machines.

His main challenger, termed-out Democratic state Sen. Debra Bowen, counters that McPherson has shown little innovation and hasn't scrutinized the machines, which she argues are vulnerable to hacking and malfunction.

While the race has attracted little voter interest or contributions, political analysts largely agree that McPherson and Bowen are well-suited to the job.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday October 19, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 4 inches; 163 words Type of Material: Correction
Voter Guide: An article in some editions of Sunday's Voter Guide, about Orange County's 5th Supervisorial District race, reported that Orange County candidate Patricia Bates' campaign had said that her opponent, Laguna Niguel Mayor Cathryn DeYoung, accepted campaign contributions from the county firefighter and deputy sheriff unions. DeYoung has not. Another article in some editions, about the Ventura County race for 4th District supervisor, said candidate Peter Foy entered it at the urging of Sheriff Bob Brooks. According to Brooks, he did not ask Foy to run but instead endorsed his campaign after the incumbent, Judy Mikels, was defeated in June. An article in the guide about the race for secretary of state said Debra Bowen was the only woman on the statewide ballot. She is the only woman from the two major parties running for a statewide constitutional office. Also, the guide's main story said Bowen's opponent, Bruce McPherson, was seeking reelection. He came to office through appointment by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday October 22, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 4 inches; 165 words Type of Material: Correction
Voter Guide: An article Oct. 15 in some editions of the Voter Guide, about Orange County's 5th Supervisorial District race, reported that Orange County candidate Patricia Bates' campaign had said that her opponent, Laguna Niguel Mayor Cathryn DeYoung, accepted campaign contributions from the county firefighter and deputy sheriff unions. DeYoung has not. Another article in some editions, about the Ventura County race for 4th District supervisor, said candidate Peter Foy entered it at the urging of Sheriff Bob Brooks. According to Brooks, he did not ask Foy to run but instead endorsed his campaign after the incumbent, Judy Mikels, was defeated in June. An article in the guide about the race for secretary of state said Debra Bowen was the only woman on the statewide ballot. She is the only woman from the two major parties running for a statewide constitutional office. Also, the guide's main story said Bowen's opponent, Bruce McPherson, was seeking reelection. He came to office through appointment by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"These are two very qualified candidates," said Allan Hoffenblum, a Republican consultant. "This is one case where voters will be winners no matter who wins."

Polls show the candidates are in a virtual dead heat, but nearly a third of voters are undecided. According to analysts, several factors could determine the outcome:

* The turnout. A strong Republican turnout for Schwarzenegger could buoy McPherson, while a surge for the Democratic candidate, Phil Angelides, would help Bowen.

* Endorsements. Amid the gubernatorial race and a sea of ballot measures, there has been little media coverage of the secretary of state's race, so voters will rely heavily on cues from organizations they trust. McPherson, a moderate, has been receiving nods from Democratic stalwarts such as the California Teachers Assn., which could help win centrist voters.

* Money. McPherson has twice as much on hand as Bowen and plans to begin airing TV ads across the state this month. Bowen, who is relying heavily on the Internet, counters that voters will be overwhelmed by the tens of millions of dollars being spent on ads about ballot measures.

* Gender. Bowen is the only woman on the statewide ballot, in a state where more women than men are registered voters.

*

seema.mehta@latimes.com

*

Begin text of infobox

Debra Bowen

Party: Democrat

Occupation: State senator

Age: 50; born in Rockford, Ill.

Residence: Marina del Rey

Personal: Married; one daughter and one stepdaughter; two grandchildren.

Education: Bachelor's degree in communications from Michigan State University, 1976; law degree from University of Virginia, 1979.

Career highlights: State Assembly, 1992 to 1998; state Senate, 1998 to present.

Platform: Review electronic voting machines to ensure that they cannot be tampered with; establish stringent monitoring requirements for voting equipment; improve access to information on political donors and bankrollers of proposed ballot initiatives; and increase participation in elections and poll-worker training.

*

Bruce McPherson

Party: Republican

Occupation: California secretary of state

Age: 62; born in Santa Cruz.

Residence: Santa Cruz

Personal: Married; two children (one was killed in a robbery in 2001); two grandchildren.

Education: Bachelor's degree in journalism, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 1965; honorary degree, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 2005.

Career highlights: Reporter and editor, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 1966 to 1991; Assembly, 1993 to 1996; state Senate, 1996 to 2004; secretary of state, March 2005 to present.

Platform: Implement the federal Help America Vote Act to ensure that disabled voters can independently cast ballots; reform redistricting through creation of an independent committee; ban legislative fundraising during the last month of the session and gubernatorial fundraising during the bill-signing period; and reform the initiative process so that voters are not overwhelmed by a tidal wave of ballot measures.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|