San Luis Obispo County

Secretary of State Alex Padilla visits Cal Poly

Secretary of State Alex Padilla...

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - California Secretary of State Alex Padilla dropped by the Central Coast Wednesday morning to discuss civic engagement and voting rights.

The visit took place at a student forum at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and was moderated by California Senate Majority Leader Bill Monning (D-Carmel).

Secretary Padilla discussed efforts to modernize elections and improve voting experience among other topics.

The non-partisan event was sponsored by the Cal Poly Political Science Department and Associated Students, Inc.

"I came here today to just really understand the importance of voter turnout and voter rights especially in the state of California," Cal Poly student Julianna Gordon said.

Julianna Gordon is a third year Cal Poly Political Science major.

"I really think it's important for students to start showing up to the ballots," Gordon said.

She's from the Lake Tahoe area, but lives on the Nevada side of the state line.

"And it's a swing state so I kind of took advantage of voting there especially in this crazy presidential election," Gordon said.

"The less voters we have, I think the less accountability our elected officials have to us," Cal Poly student Matt Malsin said.

Fourth year Cal Poly history major Matt Malsin jumped at the chance to meet Padilla.

"Yea I voted for Hillary Clinton, but you know this is who we have now and the voters spoke," Malsin said.

Malsin says he was happy to hear Padilla talk about modernizing voting in California.

"All the equipment is getting old.. and it needs to be replaced," California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said.  

"So as Secretary of State one of the most important jobs that I have is to oversee elections and all things related to how we conduct our elections," Padilla said.

In 2016, outreach efforts were able to get nearly five thousand Cal Poly students to register to vote. Padilla also played a big role in bringing online voter registration to California and he's bringing about reform like in-person early voting and more places to cast your vote.  
"And pretty soon we're going to have automatic voter registration as people interface with the DMV," Padilla said.

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