Today, Debra Bowen was inaugurated as California's Secretary of State. According to her office's news release, she is only the sixth woman elected to statewide office in California.
Delaine Eastin, who served with Secretary of State Bowen in the Legislature for many years and was the fifth woman elected to statewide office, was the "mistress of ceremonies" for the inaugural event, which took place this afternoon in the Secretary of State's auditorium in Sacramento. The inauguration was attended by several hundred people, including statewide officeholders, past and present California lawmakers election verification activists, past and present agency staff, a few registrars of voters, and lobbyists.
Secretary of State Bowen spoke quite a bit about transparency during her speech, and about having an "open process" in her office. She said she wants to eliminate the use of private, invisible, proprietary software that prohibits the public from seeing what's counting our votes. She also stated that Kevin Shelley was right about a lot of things, which brought cheers from the activists in the room.
She said, "We choose our own futures through voting and participation," and said she will work to rebuild people's faith in the integrity of the electoral system.
Secretary Bowen has also changed the address of the Secretary of State's web site -- the official address is now www.sos.ca.gov (though the old address still works, too.)