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California Elections Chief Says State Security Is Strong

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California’s top elections official says the state has aggressive safety procedures in place to protect its elections systems against Russian and other meddling but is ramping up even more ahead of the 2018 midterms. Secretary of State Alex Padilla says there’s no evidence Russians breached California election systems or voter databases in 2016 but efforts by outside actors to infiltrate U.S. elections are “the new normal.” Padilla spoke Wednesday to a legislative panel on election security. He urged lawmakers to support Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget request to spend $134 million updating outdated county voting systems. Padilla has previously criticized the federal government for poor communication on election security. But he says the relationship between California and the federal government on such issues is improving. California’s statewide primary is in June.