California Secretary of State to speak at Democratic Women’s scholarship luncheon |

California Secretary of State to speak at Democratic Women’s scholarship luncheon

Submitted to The Union

California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen will be the guest speaker at the Nevada County Democratic Women's Club's annual Annette M. Gillette Scholarship Luncheon. The luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 4 at the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley.

A pioneer in open government reform, election integrity, and personal privacy rights, Debra Bowen became the sixth woman in California history elected to a statewide constitutional office when she was elected as Secretary of State in November 2006.  As the state's chief elections officer, Secretary Bowen is responsible for overseeing state and federal elections, a role that requires her to test and certify all voting equipment. Her goal is to ensure that voting machines certified for use in California elections are secure, accurate, reliable, and accessible, and every voter's ballot is counted exactly as it was cast. As Secretary of State, Bowen is also charged with managing many business and nonprofit organization filings, campaign finance and lobbying activity filings, the state archives, and other key government services.

In her first year in office, Secretary Bowen commissioned an independent, top-to-bottom review of voting technology, as well as a comprehensive review of the state's decades-old election auditing standards. Following the top-to-bottom review, Bowen strictly limited the use of direct recording electronic voting machines, and imposed significant security and auditing requirements on systems used in California elections. Secretary Bowen was recognized for her national leadership in election integrity with the 2008 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, the nation's most prestigious honor for public servants.

 An attorney, Bowen most recently served 14 years as a lawmaker in the State Assembly and Senate. She authored landmark consumer protection laws to protect people from becoming identity theft victims and closed the digital divide by authoring the first-in-the-world law that put all of California's legislative information online.

The Nevada County Democratic Women's Club provides an annual scholarship in memory of Annette M. Gillette, a long time Nevada County resident, teacher and Democrat. This year we received 17 applications along with essays based on our topic of "We the People." The winner will read her essay at the luncheon and be presented with a certificate by Secretary of State Bowen.

For reservations, mail your check for $30 payable to NCDWC, P. O. Box 1573, Grass Valley, CA 95945 or contact Nancy Eubanks at 530-432-9821 or

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