tv Election Assistance Commission Summit - Keynote CSPAN January 26, 2018 4:29pm-4:42pm EST
but in many ways i feel like 2017 was a brick wall against i'm happy no longer to be beating my head. and helpful to election officials across the country and to paraphrase, in the rearview mirror. the good news, i think what's significant about 2018 is that the -- what passes for small stuff in elections is getting bigger and bigger every year. i think you have to acknowledge and i tell people i'm an election geek and not a political junky, you have to be blind to not recognize that 2018 will be a very high-energy and likely high turnout election in the many communities across the country. we're seeing races that have not been contested in a long time. talk about them being contested.
i think you can see the energy from 2017 and december and see there's an interest in voting in what's typically called an off-year election that we don't normally see and you have close elections. anybody here from virginia? alabama? you know hell hath no fury like an actually tied election and i think the nation's eyes will be not just on the eyes -- will not just be on the work you're doing but on the outcome itself and that will raise the stakes in a way which is challenging in 2018. something else that hasn't changed and to my knowledge hasn't changed. i check election line every day and don't see much evidence of it. budgets are still tight. we talk about how important it is to run elections securely and accessibly, and efficiently, and
with integrity. yet we don't always see policy makers at the state, federal election level ponying up. i think it's a job requirement of an election official to do more with less. so with that high potential turnout, we're not seeing tremendous amount of budgetary investment and so what you will have to continue to do, what the election community will have to do going forward is find a way to meet an ever higher demand for service with a demand. we're seeing potential changes in laws. attorneys or paying attention more closely or just ohioans will hear argument today in a ohio case regarding application of the national voter registration act about the
impact of nonvoting on list maintenance. we could see significant changes in many states in the way voter lists are managed and and that become as moving targets and moving targets aren't necessarily helpful and we're seeing growing interest in what's now known -- i know we saw amber and jennifer in what's known as the colorado model of election administration and election day where voters are mailed ballots and have the option to mail them back or bring them to an a polling place on or before election day. we're starting to see increase in vote centers, changing the way voters both receive, cast and return their ballots across the country. the good news is they plan to spend more time in election
years. i had a legal colleague, and once observed and you can tell how dated this conversation is one is smoking on airplanes. that's the dated part. and the other is elections. they tend to pay attention in election laws. they're the worst time to change because it shifts the ground underneath those of you who need to do the work. so the courts, had the legislature and sometimes candidates will push for changes in the way in which elections are run across the country. and finally there is the 800-pound elephant and cyber security. i know chairman masterson and others out there have often said
election officials need to be i.t. officials. but i think in many ways cyber security and a need to focus on just not just the physical security of your election system but the digital and cyber security of your elections is something moving from the other duties of the job description to an actual line item or paragraph or full section of your job description going forward and that's one of those things that i know everyone in the field is committed to doing and wants to make sure they do right. the problem is in many ways we're catching up to the bad guys or the advanced good guys in the field and learning how to do that. there are some very high level things i know were already in place and we're going to hear about those today but there are
other things each of us and the people we work with are going to have to do a better job of, thinking about how securely we back up our information and how we secure it. knowing how to spot, respond or not to phishing attempts and other attempts to get at the data that we work with on a daily basis. one thing that i want to point out that i don't think gets a lot of attention in cyber security. i think a lot of the focus right now on cyber security is on the impact that the security of the election system has on the integrity of the outcome. we want to make sure the people who won the elections are the right people and we didn't corrupt that result into intrusions in the election system. in many ways election security is about something even more important and that is the security of individual voters. all of us are sources of tremendous amounts of personally identifiable data which are links to things we care a lot
about. our bank accounts, details of our personal lives we don't necessarily want shared with the highest bidder and in many ways voter records and election files are skis into those volts and so while it's incredibly important to think about cyber security to protect the integrity of the election system abstract or at large, i want you to think of cyber security as a way to help the individual voters you work with. i've witnessed it personally and seen it in news story after news story. there are very few people who would not literally go to the ends of the earth to help a voter cast a ballot.
we need to have that same sense of urgency to protect the data of individual voters, even if they are not in front of us face to face. we ask voters to give us information to help us participate in the process. we need to make sure we're protecting that information so not just their votes but the rest of their lives they bring to the table or into the voting booth when they cast their ballots on election day. that's the challenge and that's a lot of stuff to digest and you'll hear about all of that and more today. the good news to me is that all of those very difficult tasks are in absolutely the right hands. i'm fond of saying and anyone who's heard me speak probably knows i say other than friends and family my favorite people in the world are election officials. you do a job that has thousands of different requirements. you function as grenade catchers of american democracy. it's your job to handle the
difficult questions on election day. and i'm impressed time and again in how capably, enthusiastically and dam you, even cheerfully all of you take on that challenge. and so with shifting politics, with shifting laws, with tight budgets, with this need to protect election security and voters across the country, i can think of no group of people in better hands. i can think of no people of in whose hands that task is better put than election officials. i'm also again. i think we're in good hands with the election assistance commission. when i teach my class i speak about how the eac given a lot of authority. in many ways congress got the
agency it wanted and designed but i think even with that very challenging and limited mandate, the eac plays a crucial role in bringing the election community together, sharing information at events like this, being in many ways your voice and ear in washington, d.c. with the federal government. the challenges before us are vast. i know all of you are capable of doing it. you are in good hands with the election's commission here in washington, d.c. with that, i will say that i am looking forward to today. it's always interesting to hear what folks have going on. i know i will have my note pad out when we talk about cyber security because i'm still figuring out where in that bowl of alphabet soup i need to put my spoon. but it should be a great day. i was honors to be invite to be here and can't wait to hear what all of you have to say. here's to a successful 2018. [ applause ]
in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's table television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. while dr. stewart is getting mic'd up, i want to say, thank you to chairman masterson for getting us kicked off here and to doug chapin for the great remarks.