Secretary of State Alex Padilla issued the following statement on California’s upcoming March 3 Presidential Primary Election and the vote counting process.

“Californians should be assured that elections officials across the state work diligently to ensure an accurate and secure vote count,” Padilla said. “All aspects of every election – from the printing and mailing to the counting of ballots – is administered by professional elections officials, not political parties.”

“For many years, California has instituted national best practices to maintain the integrity of our elections. State law requires voting systems be tested and certified before they can be used in California elections; voting systems are prohibited from being connected to the internet; and all votes must be cast on a paper ballot or have a voter verified paper audit trail. County elections officials are required to conduct logic and accuracy testing of voting equipment prior to every election, and audits after every election to ensure the accuracy and integrity of election results.”

“Voter accessibility is taken as seriously as election security. Voters have more options than ever before for casting their ballot, as voting-by-mail and in-person early voting opportunities have expanded. And to ensure the voting rights of all eligible citizens, we maintain important safety nets, including ‘Same-Day’ voter registration and provisional ballots.

“As California’s Chief Elections Officer, my ultimate responsibility is to the voters. Every voter deserves to know that their vote is counted and counted accurately. It may take California a little longer than other states to certify election results, but we prefer to take the time to get the vote count right.”