Plan for Elections
There are four key areas of focus Leslie will address in office to prioritize access to the ballot and enable full participation of the electorate in the democratic process.
- Enabling the elections that define democracy by protecting the security and reliability of Arizona’s elections infrastructure.
- Empower our county recorders to effectively activate, engage, and inform the electorate.
- Address structural & attitudinal barriers to voting.
- Build relationships with our partners for democracy.
We can work with civic organizations, non-profit groups, and technology providers in the development and offering of these solutions.
Cybersecurity is a Public Safety Issue
In 2016, America’s elections were targeted by a foreign nation-state intent on infiltrating and manipulating our electoral system. On September 22, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security notified 21 states that they were targeted by hackers during the 2016 election including Arizona.
To understand risks to our election systems and plan for the future, it is necessary to identify existing vulnerabilities in election infrastructure so we can properly assess where resources should be allocated and establish preventative measures and strategies. In order to achieve significant progress Leslie plan’s on
- Designating a technology advisory committee
- Engaging with organizations such as the Arizona Technology Council, and Arizona’s Cyber Warfare Range to augment the efforts of the office
- Establish a plan to effectively address critical vulnerabilities before the 2020 election
We need to aggressively conduct penetration tests, establish proper incident response plans, train staff on security practices and shift attitudes towards one that understands how imperative cyber hygiene and best practices are to protecting our data.
Congress provided $380 million in election security funding in late March as part of its massive spending bill, a move that reflects the growing consensus in Washington that more needs to be done to ensure the integrity of our elections.
We must recognize that we live in a world where foreign interests are vying for power by trying to shape American politics. Against that backdrop, it is clear that strengthening election security is essential to protecting our national security. This is a key priority for Leslie Pico.
Empower Our Counties
The secretary of state and county recorders are chief voter advocates. Our state is much more diverse than the voter rolls reflect. (more coming soon)
Barriers to the Ballot
Leslie is for the following:
- Automatic Voter Registration
- Being proactive about efforts to give ballot access to eligible registered voters who are detained in jail awaiting trial
- Increasing access to information and streamlining across all counties the process required to re-enfranchise those with felony convictions
- Increasing access to information and the ballot for the homeless population
- Addressing issues affecting access to the ballot for individuals in rural counties
While mail-in ballots and introducing new ways to utilize technology in accessing the ballot are making the process easier, we need to keep at-risk voters top of mind as well.
It is imperative that we keep the Internet open, encourage deployment of new, faster broadband networks and find ways to get more Arizonans online. I support effective business and technical plans for the expansion of broadband capacity because broadband is a utility, not a luxury. Lack of access to technology is resulting in a new segregation. Lack of access to online jobs, healthcare advice, education, government services and banking — prevents many from everything needed to be a full participant in today’s society.
Partnerships in Democracy
We need more than political solutions and lofty goals. We need new ideas, a new perspective and finding immediate solutions to the problems this office faces. There’s been little urgency or advocacy from the outgoing incumbent on how to better educate and engage voters, who are increasingly opting out of their civic duty. Leslie plans on:
- Collaborating with non-profit, non-partisan organizations whose mission it is to increase voter engagement, using her position in office to amplify their grassroots efforts.
- Pursuing a partnership with the U.S. Post Office to include voter registration applications in moving packets.
- Developing a program aimed at graduating high school seniors to increase civic education and increase the number of voter registration drives on campus.
- Launching an initiative to implement polling places on community college and public university campuses while also including voter registration as a part of the enrollment process.
- Increasing the number of official ballot boxes to engage voters in rural areas and those directly affected by the prohibition on ‘ballot harvesting’.
- Working with civic technology groups to provide data around campaign financing, validating and promoting websites and platforms which seek to increase transparency between the office and the electorate. i.e. MapLight, VotersEdge etc.
- Redesigning the SOS website so that information is simple to consume and simple to find, the services of the office should be as accessible to the people as possible
PAID FOR BY LESLIE H PICO FOR SECRETARY OF STATE | AUTHORIZED BY LESLIE PICO