Brian McClendon, a striking engineering executive at startups and large tech companies together with Google and Uber, has announced his candidacy to run for the open seat of Secretary of State of Kansas. He Will compete in the Democratic major scheduled for August Seventh.
McClendon has been a lifelong engineer, growing up within the state and receiving his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at the University of Kansas. He spent virtually a decade at Silicon Snap Shots Prior To becoming a co-founding father of Keyhole, a visible mapping startup which would in the end promote to Google in 2004 and change into what is nowadays known as Google Earth (Google Earth famously headquartered its visible globe on McClendon’s childhood dwelling of Meadowbrook Flats). He used to be most lately VP of Maps and Industry Platform at Uber.
Whereas he has spent much of the earlier twenty years in the Bay House, he lower back dwelling to Kansas ultimate year following the election of President Donald Trump. “Technology can carry you home,” he described to me. “We reached some extent at the end of 2016 that was problematic on the political side and that was once the impetus to give up my management career in the Valley and return right here.”
McClendon has been a research professor at the University of Kansas for the earlier yr, but as he was once speaking with voters, he realized that there was once a big gap between the tasks of secretary of state and the moves that The Current and former holders of the position have taken.
Tool is crucial to a few of the systems operated Via the secretary, however Kansas’ current choices were lackluster, in particular in voter registration. “Once I began to work on it and built some instruments within the Space, I used to be speedy able to build something higher than The Current state offering,“ McClendon mentioned. He believes that there is an opportunity to take his previous expertise in Silicon Valley and improve govt services and products throughout the board with better Tool.
It’s no longer Simply usability although that may be a difficulty, but additionally the safety of that knowledge. McClendon explained to me that voter rolls are one of the most few paths states have to engage with big data, but there are plenty of challenges in managing extremely-sensitive and private knowledge.
He gave the example of Crosscheck, which is a Kansas-sponsored program to take a look at voter rolls for reproduction voters By Way Of compiling data from 26 different states. Security concerns with the add and obtain of data has allowed at least some of that data to be leaked, and the algorithm for de-duplication has had significantly excessive rates of false positives. McClendon described the implementation as “sub-par.”
The function of secretary of state in Kansas contains managing elections, handling Industry filings including incorporations and licensing, and releasing knowledge and reports about Kansas state executive, including the state’s Kansas Register.
The Present secretary of state, Kris Kobach, is running for governor. Kobach is one of the most vocal politicians on voter fraud, and he used to be the “de facto chief” of President Trump’s Advisory Fee on Election Integrity which regarded into claims that as much as 5 million folks voted illegally within the 2016 presidential election. That Commission used to be dissolved a number of weeks ago.
Up To Now, five candidates have introduced their candidacies for the function, including Lucy Steyer who will compete with McClendon within the Democratic main in addition to Kelly Arnold, Keith Esau, and Scott Schwab who’re operating as Republicans in step with Ballotpedia. That Is McClendon’s first run for public place of job.
Featured Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Photography
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