Acting Alameda County Registrar of Voters Dave Macdonald, who led the county through the June and November elections that included the implementation of the new scanned paper-ballot voting system, has been named the county’s permanent registrar by the county board of supervisors.
At the same time, voting rights activists in the state received a significant boost to their efforts to slow down the move to electronic voting with reports that newly-inaugurated California Secretary of State Deborah Bowen has named one of their own—Berkeley attorney Lowell Finley—to the post of Deputy Secretary of State for Voting Systems Technology and Policy.
Last March, the Daily Planet reported that Finley, a member of the non-profit election watchdog organization Voter Action, was the lead attorney in a California Superior Court lawsuit in Superior Court seeking to halt the use of the Diebold paper trail electronic voting machines in California. Finley has been a persistent critic of electronic voting in California and the nation.
In his capacity as deputy secretary of state, Finley will oversee the approval of new voting systems in the state.
Meanwhile, county officials spoke out in praise of Macdonald, with Board of Supervisors President Keith Carson issuing a statement that the decision to hire Macdonald on a permanent basis “reflects this board’s belief that he performed exceptionally well in leading Alameda County through both the June and November elections,” and County Administrator Susan Muranishi adding that “Dave’s technological expertise helped us greatly as we made the transition to a completely new voting system.”
Macdonald had been serving as Alameda County’s Director of Information Technology when he was named acting registrar in May 2006 to replace the outgoing Elaine Ginnnold.