Brian McClendon, a noteworthy engineering govt at startups and large tech providers, such as Google and Uber, has declared his candidacy to run for the open up seat of secretary of point out of Kansas. He will contend in the Democratic principal scheduled for August seventh.

McClendon has been a lifelong engineer, increasing up in the point out and getting his undergraduate diploma in electrical engineering at the University of Kansas. He put in pretty much a 10 years at Silicon Graphics right before turning out to be a co-founder of Keyhole, a visible mapping startup which would at some point provide to Google in 2004 and turn out to be what is these days regarded as Google Earth (Google Earth famously centered its visible world on McClendon’s childhood residence of Meadowbrook Residences). He was most not long ago VP of Maps and Enterprise System at Uber.

Though he has put in a great deal of the earlier two decades in the Bay Spot, he returned residence to Kansas past year next the election of President Donald Trump. “Technology can deliver you residence,” he described to me. “We arrived at a issue at the conclude of 2016 that grew to become problematic on the political side and that was the impetus to give up my management career in the Valley and return right here.”

McClendon has been a investigation professor at the University of Kansas for the earlier year, but as he was talking with voters, he recognized there was a large hole concerning the responsibilities of secretary of point out and the actions that the recent and previous holders of the place have taken.

Software is critical to numerous of the techniques operated by the secretary, but Kansas’ recent offerings had been lackluster, particularly in voter registration. “When I began to work on it and designed some applications in the location, I was quickly equipped to create anything better than the recent point out providing,“ McClendon said. He believes there is an opportunity to take his preceding working experience in Silicon Valley and enhance authorities companies throughout the board with better software package.

It is not just usability that is a worry, but also the stability of that information. McClendon stated to me that voter rolls are one of the handful of paths states have to engage with major information, but there are a good deal of worries in managing highly sensitive and individual facts.

He gave the case in point of Crosscheck, which is a Kansas-sponsored system to look at voter rolls for copy voters by compiling information from 26 other states. Stability concerns with the add and download of information has allowed at the very least some of that information to be leaked, and the algorithm for de-duplication has had drastically significant fees of wrong positives. McClendon described the implementation as “sub-par.”

The job of secretary of point out in Kansas incorporates managing elections, dealing with company filings, such as incorporations and licensing, and releasing information and studies about Kansas point out authorities, such as the state’s Kansas Sign up.

The recent secretary of point out, Kris Kobach, is managing for governor. Kobach is among the the most vocal politicians on voter fraud, and he was the “de facto leader” of President Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which looked into statements that up to 5 million people today voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election. That fee was dissolved a handful of weeks in the past.

So much, 5 candidates have declared their candidacies for the job, such as Lucy Steyer, who will contend with McClendon in the Democratic principal, as nicely as Kelly Arnold, Keith Esau and Scott Schwab, who are managing as Republicans in accordance to Ballotpedia. This is McClendon’s 1st run for public business office.

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