Bowen, Pew Trusts official
butt heads over voters
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and David J. Becker, the director of election initiatives for The Pew Charitable Trusts, shared a panel this week during a state Senate hearing on improving voter participation.
The two disagreed soon after sitting down. Becker, citing U.S. census data and other research, said 8.2 million Californians are eligible but do not register to vote. Bowen said the number is actually 6.4 million. But Becker said the official registration number does not reflect hundreds of thousands of people who have died or moved.
Bowen then questioned a Pew effort called the Election Registration Information Center, or ERIC, to identify voters who have moved between states. Bowen said her concerns – such as ERIC automatically removing voters from the rolls – have been ignored. “What happened after I wrote that letter is I was never invited back again to another ERIC meeting.”
Not so, say Pew and ERIC officials. Pew, Becker said, has invited Bowen’s office to six meetings since 2011. Pew received no response to most of the invitations, including one for a meeting later this month in San Francisco, he said.
– Jim Miller
“I think some of you may need a social worker.”
ASSEMBLYWOMAN MARIKO YAMADA, a Davis Democrat and former social worker, in a floor speech on her resolution declaring March “Social Worker Month.”