Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the appointment today of former state Senator Bruce McPherson to California secretary of state.

“I looked for someone with strong experience, unimpeachable integrity and someone who is widely respected, and that is exactly what Bruce brings with him to the job,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “I look forward to working with the Legislature to quickly confirm Bruce to ensure a smooth transition of leadership for this important office.”

McPherson most recently served in the Legislature from 1993 to 2005 when he was termed out, including a stint as chair of the Assembly Elections and Reapportionment Committee. He has authored or co-authored extensive legislation concerning elections, including legislation that required electronic filing of campaign statements and campaign finance information (AB 1026 in 1995 and SB 34 in 2001), legislation to restore California Campaign Finance Reform Law as passed by voters under Proposition 73 (AB 3027 in 1996), legislation creating the bipartisan Commission for Political Reform (SB 1737 in 1998), and laws allowing the national Motor Voter registration cards to be accepted in California and establishing a statewide Voter Registration Database (AB 1701 in 1996).

“I am honored to be able to serve the people of California again, and I want to thank Gov. Schwarzenegger for this opportunity,” said McPherson. “I will work hard to restore integrity, trust and confidence to the office of Secretary of State, I will work to repair relationships between the state and the 58 county registrars, and I will work assiduously to ensure HAVA compliance as soon as possible.”

The California secretary of state responsibilities include serving as the state’s Chief Elections Officer, implementing electronic filing and Internet disclosure of campaign and lobbyist financial information, chartering corporations, commissioning notaries public, overseeing the State Archives, and filing a host of documents from Uniform Commercial Code financing and tax lien information to certificates of limited partnerships and limited liability companies.

According to Article 5, Section 5b of the California state constitution, “the Governor shall nominate a person to fill the vacancy who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority of the membership of the Senate and a majority of the membership of the Assembly and who shall hold office for the balance of the unexpired term. In the event the nominee is neither confirmed nor refused confirmation by both the Senate and the Assembly within 90 days of the submission of the nomination, the nominee shall take office as if he or she had been confirmed by a majority of the Senate and Assembly; provided, that if such 90-day period ends during a recess of the Legislature, the period shall be extended until the sixth day following the day on which the Legislature reconvenes.”

The compensation for the post is $131,250. McPherson is a Republican.

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