tv National Academy of Public Administration Discussion on Election Challenges CSPAN November 6, 2018 1:52pm-3:46pm EST
and most of texas also close at 8:00. york arewisconsin, new among the number of states with polls closing at 9:00 eastern. montana, nevada, utah, and iowa close it to neglect in -- close at 10:00 p.m. there are no polling site in oregon and washington state, but boat by mail ballots are due by 11:00 p.m. alaska closes voting at midnight. c-span, your primary source for campaign 2018. >> which party will control the house and senate? watch c-span's live election night coverage starting tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern as the results come in from house, senate and governor races around the country. hear victory and concession speeches from the candidates. then wednesday morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern, we will get your reaction to the election, taking your phone calls live during "washington journal."
c-span, your primary source for campaign 2018. >> next, discussion about election challenges facing municipalities and states, hosted by the national academy of public administration. the topics included for registration and disenfranchisement. in coordinating the preparation and maintenance of effort structure. the discussion is about one hour 50 minutes. we arenancy tate and
commemorating the 100 anniversary of women's fight to obtain a constitutional vote, which it did with the 19th amendments that passed in 1920. before that, for the previous 15 years, was the executive director of the league of women voters of the united states. and in that capacity, of course, worked closely with all of our 50 states and 700 local leagues in helping citizens understand what was going on in elections but also to fight and to promote fair election laws that would make an inclusive voting system. before that i was the chief whoseing officer and annual conference we are now attending. with me today is leslie reynolds, the executive director of the national association of secretary of state, tom hicks, the chair of the u.s. election assistance commission, and linda
lindberg, the director of elections for arlington county. in the speaker who may be joining us is shown, one with conlon withsean deloitte. before he turned over to the panel, i want to set a little context about the u.s. political system. i'm sure that certainly everyone at nap and elsewhere is hearing a lot about elections today. usually we hear about the parties, the candidates, strategy, political advertising, and media coverage, which is endless of all of those of the above. strategy, political advertisingmost of us know therr of factors that are less obvious to do impact these races and the outcomes. one, of course, is the census and the redistricting process that goes on every 10 years and sometimes more often, primary
system that selects the various candidates, money of course has a huge impact that we can't always see exactly how it influences things, but we know that it does. the information that voters get all during the election season, and where that information comes from. the electoral college has a huge impact on the ultimate outcome , but essentially, one of the main factors is turnout. one of the things that doesn't get discussed very much is are the institutional features of the election system, and that's what we're going to talk about today. i've system in the united states is highly decentralized and this stems from a provision in the u.s. constitution which does give primary responsible it a for election management to the state. this makes is unlike all the other advanced micro sees and probably unlike some of the not advanced democracies, that means
there is a very small federal recently, someil of the main federal players that did exist were really concerned with money. the federal elections commission, the irs does have certain rules and sometimes the fcc, the federal indications commission is involved, but not really involved in the operations, not really giving any direction. that has changed, and we're going to hear about that a little bit. the result is that because the states are running the elections, there's a wide variety of state and local laws. what is true for all of the localagencies and the agencies who are the people directly run elections is that they are traditionally very underfunded. and usually understaffed to. because there are key differences election laws across there are number of
differences that fall into at least a couple of main categories. one is for registration, which really gets down to who can vote , because in this country, if you are not registered, you cannot vote. some of the differences between the states include what kind of documentation is required, who it is, what type of organization can register you, who maintains and how they maintain the list of registered voters, how they keep the data clean, there's a lot of variations there. another very area is early days, ahow often, what number of different things, you'll find out perhaps linda will tell us how excellent actually works here in virginia, which is different than a number of states. and even on election day, the experience of voters in different states can be very different. this can stem from the machines that they use, the ballot design and the length of the ballots,
polling places, the number of polling places and where they are located, how easy is it to .et to them, and poll workers how many poll workers, how well-trained are they? there's a lot of variation there. one result in general the whole election system is voters can be disenfranchised. one of the ways they can be disenfranchised are my some of these election laws and procedures. some things become harder for people to do than others. voters can disenfranchise themselves if they don't know what the rules so, if you do not know what time the polls close and you get there to deliberate, if you don't know what the register -- when the registration period ended or what the absentee ballot deadlines are, you are disenfranchised. this is an important role the
league of women voters provide with a website called vote 411.org that provides this information. you can also be disenfranchised inadvertently just by problems at the polling place. the machine breaks down, the electricity goes out, there was flooding in the basement, all of those things can always happen at any place. fewtimes, there are too machines. there was a missed estimation of how many machines were needed or there was not enough money to provide enough. you get a line. nother problem could be enough poll workers. not enough poll workers, that is another thing that slows down the process and produces long lines and as we know, a lot of people cannot wait four hours in line to vote. they have to go to work, pick up the kids from school. if that happens and they leave and don't come back, in essence, they have been disenfranchised.
there is a whole category of dirty tricks. there have been dirty tricks and politics in america since the beginning. they were things like putting up signs where your opponent followers might turn out to vote and tell them the election day has been moved to a different day and they don't need to show up or sending them to the wrong place. candidates and parties have done things for years. -- since, in the last particularly in election 2016, we have seen a large amount of more significant and different kinds of what we will call dirty tricks, such as hacking, social media targeting. we know that voter turnout in this country is typically lower than any of us in this room would like. but there is a number of groups that are chronically underrepresented in the electorate anyway. those are the youth, people 18-25, people of lower economic
status, people of color, and overseas voters. militaryou are in the or not, in some states, it is hard given these deadlines to get your ballots back in time to be counted. of the election laws and procedures in various states make it harder for any of these people in these groups to vote. they already vote in lower numbers and a lot of these laws actually increased that the g ap. a lot of these things i mentioned have been around, they are part of the system, and we will hear about the different levels of government deal with them. we have certainly seen in the last two years a heightened awareness of the challenges of cyber security. . a number of different forms hacking, reaching, trying to attack the voter databases. trying to attack the voting machines themselves and the vote tabulation functions.
and then the whole area of spreading misinformation through social media. lot of otherably a things they are doing that i do not know about and i am probably happy i do not know about them. what this results in obviously is a heightened threat to election results, obviously. that a heightened threat decrease in public perceptions of the legitimacy of the outcomes, because none of us will know whether a challenge has been thwarted or not. from a public trust point of view, in such a basic function of our democratic system, there are -- there is some concern. fortunately, i have with me this astonishing panel of people who us about howinform this works. i am going to tell you more about leslie here. thehas been the head of national association of secretaries of state since 2000, which is the year that i became
the head of the league of women voters. we were sort of in a election law wars together from the beginning. she is still there. because she is the top manager of that association, she handles a lot of issues and works with on members on initiatives election reform, electronic government, state business services, and digital archiving. this jobs to background in congressional and intergovernmental relations and legislative policymaking, and she is a graduate of perdue university. so, leslie, if you would just tell the group here something more about secretaries of state and their roles and elections. -- secretary- not of states is not the responsible entity in every state. so something about those states such as virginia where it is a
different institutional structure, but presumably similar functions. -- i havedo, how given these different kinds of challenges, where you think by and large things are not too bad, so the public should not be scared. but what are serious challenges that keep you up at night? wade in there and give us your thoughts. leslie: first of all, i don't think anybody should be scared. nothing keeps me up at night except for teenage boys who do not come home when they should. [laughter] as nancy said -- first of all, thank you for including me. i'm the executive director of the national association of secretaries of state. 40 of my members are there to state election officials.
it is a state board of elections, virginia, maryland, new york, some have state boards of affections while they have secretaries and their jurisdiction does not cover elections. we work closely with the organization that represents the board -- that's the national association of state election directors, we work hand-in-hand to cover a lot of issues. as nancy said, my members cover a lot of issues, not just elections. so those that don't have responsibility, or others, have not got nearly the attention they deserve over the last couple of years, because we have been very focused on election security and building the relationships that need to be built after the 2016 election. because our elections are so decentralized, they are run in local jurisdictions all over the country, i think it's a benefit in a couple of ways. one is that it makes the process
much harder to interrupt from some sort of malicious factor. you have a lot of different systems and processes and procedures, without one centralized system, you have to figure out a bunch of different ways to interfere with the process. that's a benefit of decentralization. the other benefit is that trust in government is highest at the local level. nothing against tom here, nor my members, but i worked with ms. linda here as a poll worker in arlington county. i would say when you address your neighbors as they come in to the polling place there is a level of trust that exists that does not exist at higher levels of government.
often we talk to international election observers that come through, and they talk about how crazy it is to have this patchwork of all these different systems. i said, but everyone believes in their own system. the system they are using is the system they think is the best. whatever we are using and that -- and been it -- in virginia -- but people in california may be using a different one, i think there's definitely a benefit. some of the trends we have seen in some of the areas that nancy has talked about, voter registration has been really transformed over the past 10 years. we have an overwhelming majority of states with online voter registration. we have a number of states that have moved to automatic voter means thatn, which you conduct an activity at one of your state agencies and you
are automatically registered to vote without filling out a bunch of different forms. we have election day registration, which has increased across the country. and they still encourage you to register to vote prior to election day because registering on election day creates -- i don't know if we have four hour lines. [laughter] we have historically. leslie: we've come a long way but it does create longer lines when you have folks were -- who are registering to vote on election day. states that have it prefer that you not utilize it, it's definitely an inconvenience. i think probably the areas that we have seen the most significant change and improvement has been election security. obviously, it has occupied all of our time of the are on the
-- of our time up here on the panel for quite some time. the reality is prior to 20 -- prior to 2016, election officials were focused on security, and as a national organization we did not cover it on topics at our conferences. but the election officials were focused on it. but the focus has changed significantly, and increased significantly. we now work very closely with federal agencies, the eac that tom chairs, along with the department of homeland security. which i honestly can say i speak to twice a day. not because there are issues, but because communication has improved significantly. that was part of the biggest challenges in 2016, the communication pathways did not exist. dhs oftentimes was communicating
with state cios, and not the secretaries or chief state election officials as they had -- if they had questions or concerns. so their questions and concerns never got to the chief election officials. we've also worked to increase communication between state agencies that have not spoken to each other before. i think we have established a number of organizations that cross over the federal, state, and local level. we have a government coordinating council that has 29 members from federal, state, and local government. and state and local election officials comprise the overwhelming majority of members. we work very hard to share
information, we have set up communications protocols for how state, local, and federal governments share information about threats and incidents. i think it has been hugely successful. and we have worked together to put out voting information, and have worked together to put out op-ed's in a number of different communications that coming from a whole of government, we hope has helped make an impact on how the public sees the election process. we also -- we have established an election infrastructure information sharing and analysis center. basically what that does, is all 50 states are members of this eiisac, and it shares threat and incident information with various levels of government. there are over 1300 local
jurisdictions that are part of it. the states and many of the local jurisdictions have put what are called monitors on their system to monitor the internet traffic coming and going. back in 2016 election networks did not have these monitors on their systems. the election networks in many states are separate from state cios networks. while there were monitors monitoring traffic on the cios network, they were now -- not monitoring on the other networks. it makes a big difference when you start to get information from those election networks and you share that information with state and local election officials. we have been the beneficiary of a lot of free services from the department of homeland security, now that elections are dedicated as critical infrastructure it puts us on the same pathway as
nuclear power plants, water and dam systems and the financial systems. they are critical infrastructures as well. making elections critical infrastructure, which my members opposed because of their concern about federal overreach, they like the state and local election responsibilities they have. but i would also say that working with dhs over the last couple of years has helped to dispel some of their concerns about the original fears of overreach. working with dhs, we have been the beneficiary of free cyber hygiene scans. we have the benefit of risk and vulnerability assessments, they will go into the state and do what the state asks, penetration testing, training, they have done tabletop exercises for
state and local officials can -- i don't know, tabletop came from the military. i was not from the military so this was new to me. basically, you do a run through on election day, you play act with different scenarios that are developed. people pretend to be different actors and the introduce -- and they introduce problems that could come up on election day and you exercise through and work out how you are going to respond. what you would do in that specific scenario. they are tremendously useful, not just something you are talking about but something you're doing and playacting. those have been things that dhs has helped to set up, trainings for local election officials, and a lot of tools that have been put out by a lot of nonprofit organizations and
for-profit organizations that the states have benefited from. we also have new funding. congress appropriated the remaining $380 million that was passed in 2002. the $380 million was efficiently dispersed by the election assistance commission, and the states had had the benefit of being able to utilize that money for the 2018 election, more will become the use of it will become more evident in 2020. a lot of states have ponied up money as well. because a lot of the states utilize not just services from dhs, but services provided by the private sector. they may not do a risk and vulnerability assessment with dhs because they have a contract with a private sector company to do it, or they do penetration testing with multiple private
sector partners. they want to have multiple eyes looking at their system. if you hear that not every state is utilizing the services, it is not because they are not doing something. they are just not utilizing dhs services. i think that pretty much covers it. nancy: ok. yeah. that is a great overview. i am full of questions, but i because we know in this context that coordination is tough under the best of situations. that is a very upbeat account of the coordination that is going on within the government and between the levels of government. i will not stop and ask you to delve into that more because i would like to hear from the federal angle. i'm going to move on to tom, let me introduce you. this is tom hicks, he was nominated to the election
assistance commission in 2014, and confirmed by a unanimous vote which is no small feat these days. this year he was elected chair of that commission. prior to being on the eac, which he will explain to you, he was the senior elections council and minority elections council on the u.s. house committee on house administration. where he focused on issues relating to campaign finance, election reforms, contested elections and others. prior to that he served as a senior lobbyist for common cause, which is similar to the league in terms of promoting citizen action and speaking to government. and he even served for seven years in the clinton administration, at the office of personnel management.
he has a law degree from catholic university and an undergraduate degree from clark university. if you would explain to us about the eac, which is still pretty new to the federal system, and your take on how well it is working and how well you are able to serve the states and local officials. tom: thank you. nancy: are you going to come down here? tom: i'm going to do both. so hopefully the camera can keep up with me. leslie did an excellent job of going over everything i wanted to talk about. [laughter] leslie: sorry. tom: but there's so much more that we have been doing, i'm going to show a quick video about what the eac actually is. the staff put together a wonderful video to show how our agency functions.
hopefully this will work. the sound is not working. but i did try to put that on. that's not going to work. so, i will tell you about our agency. the eac is a bipartisan agency that came about after the 2000 election. it is two democrats, two republicans and no two members conserve for more than one party. it came out from the help america vote act, signed by president bush on october 29, 2002, the 16th anniversary was monday. i serve as chair, christine mccormick serves as vice chair and we don't have a quorum right now.
two people have been nominated by president trump. and don maryland, palmer from virginia. if they are confirmed we will have a full contingent of commissioners for the first time in seven or eight years. the agency deals with helping states with the administration of elections. there are over 8000 jurisdictions that run elections from a local level. it is a misnomer to know that elections are run by 20 individuals in jurisdictions. there are large jurisdictions like los angeles and cook county in illinois, which is chicago. or orange county in california, or san diego, or even new york. but for the most part elections are run by individuals, one or two individuals. they have a number of jobs they
have to do. part of those jobs consist of campaign finance, gis, or just running the list maintenance program. when they run the elections, they have to do signature verification, or even going out for election mail, sending that out to our overseas and military people, which was september 22 of this year. which is 45 days that the ballots had to be sent out. i would like to say, the first question you asked about was the challenges that are faced. i think that the biggest challenge we face is voter confidence. the fact that so many people decide that they do not want to vote because they don't have confidence in the election, and they feel their vote will not be counted. i can guarantee that both that -- that devotes -- that votes
that are not counted our votes that are not cast. individuals should have confidence in the system, particularly since 2016 when we found out that there was a foreign entity trying to meddle in our election process. jeh johnson, who was then thenand of -- who was secretary of homeland security, made elections critical, and general kelly kept that and most of the fears dissipated. secretary nielsen is keeping the designation. basically, it is what leslie talked about earlier. it has been elevated to the level of nuclear power plants, waterways, banks, and financial institutions meaning if those things are attacked, what can we do to make them resilient and bring them back up to speed?
the eac was instrumental in forming the government coordination council with several meetings with dhs, we sit as cochairs on the executive committee with them, and as leslie was saying, we are light years ahead of where we were in 2016 in terms of getting information out. now it is not who should i call, it's how many times a day am i calling. dhs has done a good job of getting that information out. other things, security, polling places, public relations, these are just some of the jobs these folks do on a daily basis. so i cannot talk about the election security video, because i cannot get the volume to go, but i would say go to our
gov to check out that video and look to see what our agency does. i love the agency, it's an agency that does a lot with a little, and the staff is the together a great video to highlight some of the things that we actually do. in terms of the funds that leslie mentioned earlier -- leslie: help america vote act. nancy: yes. most -- tom: yes. most of that money was distributed within two to three months, all of it went out within five months. by the end of july, all that money has been distributed to the states for affects on the 2018 election and congress designated that this money could be spent for five years. meaning they could spend it up until 2023. it was put into the first title of the help america vote act to
allow states to have flexibility on what they could spend it on. states have a piece of skin in the game on this by saying that they have to put a 5% match into it. so a state like california, because it was distributed out based on population, so a state like california which has the most people in the country was given more money. but a state like montana or wyoming, which has a smaller population, was given $3 million. there was a bases of $3 million per state. up to the $34 million that california got. i would like to point out that we have five territories and the district of columbia, which were all eligible to receive the funding and they all requested that funding as well. the other piece i would say is that on our website we have what the states are spending that
money on, or what they gave us a two to three page narrative to say this is what i want to spend the money on. we put that on there as well. on this slide, it tells about some of the things that we have heard from the states on what they are spending their money's on. for the most part, about 75% of that is going towards cyber security, voting equipment and voter registration. things that affect not only this election but elections moving forward. so in terms of cyber security, that is either hardening the systems, hiring new people to deal with the cyber security issues, cios, and so forth. and the voting equipment piece, most of that will be deployed in 2020, because it's not like going down to our local best buy and purchasing a computer off of the shelf.
these systems have to be built, have to be state specific, and for a number of states who volunteer for our voting system, where we do the certifying and testing of voting equipment, we have two labs in colorado and one in alabama. 48 of the 50 states to some form of the voluntary voting system guideline. but the voting equipment some of it is deployed now, but most of it will be deployed in 2020. there's a lot of talk about confidence and counting the ballots by paper trail. most, if not all the equipment
has a some form of paper trail to it. one of the voting machine manufacturers say they are not even making equipment such as not have some paper trail to it. with any piece of voting equipment deployed, we want to make sure the law is followed, and that each polling place will have to have one piece of voting equipment that is disability accessible. meaning those with disabilities can vote independently and privately. this slide will show you what those particular states are spending on the issues we talked about a few minutes ago. announcer: we are going to break away from this program to take you live to a house. no votes expected. we will return to the discussion as soon as the house wraps up its session.
[captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the .s. house of representatives.] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays befor a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., november 6, 2018. i hereby appoint the honorable luke messer to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, chaplain david l. mansberger from the u.s. air
force with the arlington national cemetery in arlington, virginia. the chaplain: i invite you to pray with me. o gord, over the years we've humble -- o gord, over the years we've humbly asked you to look over americans and allow their voice to be heard to follow your will. may this day, that right not be ignored or undertaken lightly, as citizens all over this land go to ballot boxes, get to all of us the sense of high privilege and joyous responsibility. help those who will be elected given ffice, a mandate by no party, received at no place of voting but given by your grace, a mandate to govern wisely and well, a mandate to represent god in truth at the heart of the nation. mandates do good in the name of him over whom this republic was established. we humbly ask you lord our god to lead americans to do the task which you have set before the united states. so we may together seek
happiness for all our citizens in your holy name, you who created all equal in your sight and therefore as brothers and sisters. n your holy name i pray, amen. amen. rsuant to section 4 -- the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to section 4 a of house resolution 1084, the journal of the last day's proceedings is approved. the chair will lead the house in the pledge of allegiance and i invite others to join me. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. pursuant to section 4-b of house resolution 1084, the house stands adjourned until 10:30 a.m. on friday, november 9, 2018.
18 years since 2000. those individuals were born in 2000 are now eligible to vote and i would say that one of the things that they can do is serve as coworkers. we have a huge shorter's -- shortage of coworkers. one of the things they can do is serve as poll workers. we have a huge shortage of poll workers during the national
elections, for the presidential elections we need a million poll workers to serve in that capacity and we fall short of that every presidential year. so not only the 18-year-olds but other folks need to come in and serve as poll workers to give confidence to the system, to see it on the inside, so we can not only help with those folks serving in a civic duty, but also giving back. >> thank you tom, i have a clarifying question, does some financial assistance go through local jurisdictions or does it always go through the states? >> the financial peace goes to the chief election officer, but there are more assistance is that we give than just financial. i have gone to 34 states and my job, presently. and it's mostly going to local jurisdictions to talk about the things we can do. for instance, i am leaving tomorrow to go to houston, to see some of the things they have
done since hurricane harvey. last week i was in massachusetts, seeing what they are doing in terms of voter registration. they have poll pads now and some of that was purchased using the help america vote act funds. i will be in l.a. on election day, seeing what they are doing. we mostly give money and distributed down to the states, but we have boots on the ground. we have close to a dozen states covered for this election. >> great. he will be exhausted. it doesn't stop, but it's really are on the ground. i will turn now to linda lindberg, who is been working in elections in arlington since 1994, starting as the deputy. and since 2003 she has been the director of elections and a general registrar. maybe she can explain to us what the differences.
given all of those years, she has overseen two voting transitions. here's the missing 8 minutes >> -- i would rather have it as a condition we can use in the future. we will look at projects coming across the desk for approval, and they will say ok, are we covered? i am very lucky to be in arlington county, where that is a way for us to work for those groups. these are polling places and commercial buildings, commercial buildings are little different from your traditional polling places, and at community centers which are generally county owned. it's a different set of urban issues that we deal with. we have parking problems, we can't always have a huge parking spot available. sometimes it's hard for voters to find the correct entrance for a commercial building sometimes. we try to work with them, we have proper signage on election day. and we make sure that voters know which location to use at these nontraditional polling places. >> can you tell us how many polling places there are in arlington?
arlington is the smallest geographic county in the country, how many does it take to support arlington county? >> we are small geographically, we have a population of about 239,000. so we are midsized, population wise. we have 160 5000 registered voters, and 54 polling places. we are short resources, short of personnel, and we have so much resilience and get the job done nonetheless. going back to your graphic that i love the election official in all the different responsibilities that we do, that's absolutely true. we are expected to be expert in campaign finance and election and, of course, voter registration. we are responsible for that. we are responsible for mailing regulations and what we need to do to make sure that our mail gets delivered properly.
we have to be hr managers. workers,o recruit all polling places, the lid is -- logistics of planning the election, delivering equipment to all the different locations. we are involved in a little bit running andg i'm planning three different elections. .ne is a five mail election we have people voting by as an tea ballot. not just military and overseas whole, but we have able cannot get in whoever requested ballots by mail. we have also requested early voting, which in virginia requires a reason code for absentee voting, but it's essentially early voting, a different type of operation than a by mail operation.
finally, there's the election day operation, where we have to deploy the polling place is in the equipment to all of the different polling locations and make surenty that all of that is run smoothly . it's a lot of work. it's a lot of work. thatpeople i have found work in elections get bit by the bug, that's the best way to describe it. you want to keep doing it and keep doing it. some of the challenges, i'm going to talk about my role as an elections director. under the constitution, my position is called general registrar. a couple of years ago there were
some changes made in the code to reassign some of the duties. this, then, any other. there was a person in my position doing work, they were .hipped in the code in virginia it's a little bit different across the country. in many cases, the secretary of state is an elected position responsible for his or her own election. in some cases that at the local level as well. florida is a case in point, they have supervisors of elections are elected at every county in
florida and there are also a number of states that have a clerk, they're the person responsible for running that election and a clerk has other responsibilities that are court related, like the wills, the marriage licenses, and etc., but one of the responsibilities is also elected positions. my position in virginia is appointed. there are some states, particularly in the northeast, where the elections office is very, very partisan. they will have the republican registrar academic attic registrar, eat positions. in some cases they have complete staff, complete separate staff underneath those positions. which i find, as someone who has been doing this for many years -- mm notartisan,
artisan, -- and am not i guess we always like our systems best, has been mentioned earlier. so, it does vary the way that the elections are ministered at the local level changes somewhat because of the partisan in state laws across the country. one of the challenges for us here in arlington county, we have looked around here at the hotel, there are a lot of high-rises in this particular area. that is because arlington county, when the metro system was built some four years ago, they them broke -- embraced smart growth to have residential and commercial growth at the metro stations along the metro line. we have been very successful in that. one problem for us, when it yous to elections, when
have a lot of high-rises you generally don't have schools, community centers, the places where we historically had polling places. that has been a bit of a challenge for us. we have found a solution and our solution is working with our planning department. by working with our planning department, we are able to say, thatou have this developer wants to build a high rise with 900 units. let's look at how that is going to impact the existing polling places. we have been able to build into the site plan agreements conditions for the developers to have polling places. that has worked, to some degree, successfully for us. we have been doing that for maybe 15 years. we have had some successes. others, because the fight plan sometimes if you are involved,
take a long time's -- take a long time, sometimes. you might have a development project that was approved 10 years ago and is only now getting off the ground. i need that polling place, but i needed it five years ago. it really is the future planning environment that we have to look at. it has worked successfully for us to the point now where the planning office, the planning commission will come to us and say -- hey, we have this project coming, do we need a polling place here and i will say -- yes , build it in. you never know when you will need it and i would rather have in the future than not have it at all. similarly, my county board will look at -- look at the projects the come across my desk for approval and say -- are we for thein voting polling places? i'm very lucky to be at arlington county, where that is a way for us to work with those groups.
but these are polling places in commercial buildings and commercial buildings are a bit different from your schools and traditional polling places, which are generally county owned. different set of urban issues that we deal with. we have parking problems. we cannot always have a huge parking lot available, like you would at a school. you have to block offstreet parking. sometimes it's hard for voters to find the correct entrance to a commercial building, sometimes . we try to work with them by having proper signage on election day, making sure that our voters know which location to use at these nontraditional polling places. >> can you tell us how many polling places there are in arlington, since arlington is the smallest geographic county
in the country? how many does it take to support ? >> we are small, geographically, but we have a population of about 239,000, so we are , population wise. registered voters, we have 106 5000. we have 54 polling places and i would like to add a couple of more before the presidential election. the problem there is the general assembly, in preparation for redistricting has changed and we neede lines to move quickly. we have been so focused on the selection, we haven't had time to address the future. everything is postelection in our life. after the election we will be looking at some of those more in arlingtonreas where we could add more places to accommodate the 2020 presidential election.
places where we know we are going to have population growth. we know that we have got development projects that are going to open between now and the presidential election. it's always always planning ahead. know that her data, i sean is going to talk about data, you always look at past data when planning an election. turnout from the comparable election a couple of years ago, maybe, to compare with how many ballots you are going to order for this year. i didn't look at 2014 for the selection, you -- because 2014 at a very low turnout. i figure that this election would be willing to 2017. we had the gubernatorial last year that gathered a lot of attention and had very high turnout, the highest we had had for a gubernatorial election in quite some time. we kind of used that as a benchmark waiting for this election. we thought ok, it's also a federal election, there is
control of congress at lake here are the maybe not so much in my district. but across the country, you have got to build in the swell of interest that voters are going to have in the election to try to plan how many ballots to order. how many pieces of equipment to deploy, how many voting booths to deploy to the polling places. how many people can work at the polls on election day. it's always using that data to figure out what you are going to do for the next election. challenges that i foresee coming to us in the future is just a shift in the way that elections are being run and a shift in the way that people are voting. there are different ways that people vote in the country. there are some states, such as washington and oregon who vote all my mail, a lot of by mail voting.
it's gaining popularity in the ,ountry and you have to think as a local elections administrator, how is it going to affect me if we were to shift to the all-male type of election? and what does it mean in terms of micro-facilities, my warehouse space, my staffing? these are some of the things we have been doing in my office as we develop a long-term strategic plan where we say, ok, this is what we see is going to happen, the trends in the next five ?ears, how might this affect us how many more polling places might we need to add? voting, like i mentioned earlier, we do pre-election voting in virginia but under our laws it does require a reason for voters to vote. we call it in person absentee. but it is different, though,
from say what's happening in d.c. and maryland right now, where they just opened their early voting sites and people are just going in huge numbers. we have been doing it since 45 days before the election because under virginia law we have to start in person voting once the ballots are available. for our absentee voters we make them available for in person voting. we have seen it sort of slowly grow and if we were to concentrate that the two weeks, how might that affect us? what kinds of facilities do we have to be able to handle a large volume of voters? thousands of voters in our county? we don't have a lot of large facilities. we have high school gyms, but high schools are in session. they are great for election day, but not so great for early voting. these are some of the challenges we're looking at in trying to plan for the future. moment. never a dull
>> is and. always plan ahead. >> in particular we are very lucky to have these three folks in the middle of election planning coming to talk to us today. shifting gears a bit, our next in the is a principal strategy and operations practice and he focuses on big data, also referred to as structured and for theured data various agencies, the federal and state level achieved efficiencies to manage risk. so, welcome. did you want to use the screen? >> why don't i try it without to start with? ofn i can show some pictures people are interested. first of all, thank you very much for letting me join you. .'m a bit of a civics junkie i've got a 12-year-old at home who is passionate about
elections and everything around these topics. literally every day this is a topic at our house, so it's fastening -- fascinating to hear the federal, state, local view on this coming at this from a very different angle. i will just tee this up and if the q&a people want to explore this further, i would be happy some sort ofe in conversation. i'm a principal at beloit and a leader in what we call the artificial intelligence group. i've got about 1000 folks working across federal, state, and local, working on a blizzard of different types of projects. in talking with nancy and terry about this topic, one of the reasons it was interesting was artificial at how intelligence -- by the way, that's a term that means almost
nothing to anybody, it's just a marketing term, so i will try to demystify that a little bit. it's nothing more than tools, quite frankly, but they are incredibly powerful tools that virtually every part of our society. you hear about it in the press and it's true and it's still just getting started. a lot of the press, probably the there areess, nefarious and dangerous things around it, but the fact is it's nothing more than sophisticated tools to help people make that are decisions. many of the areas where we bring these capabilities is places where we are asking government leaders to make important decisions and they are surrounded by information and data, but the ability to harness the data so that they can make more intelligent decisions, there is a massive gap. a lot of what me and my organization does is help to
harness that data and bring it forward so that better and more informed decisions can be made. it,erms of demystifying let's peel back artificial intelligence, there are really two capabilities at the heart of the transformation of why these tools are helpful. one is being able to bring data that is sitting in a lot of silos, say you had order registration in a lot of states and within a state you had the border registration and death certificate data or other data sets being able to very, very quickly bring those data sets together and intelligently identify having a high risk connection to the data that a human should go take a look at. that's what we are talking about. this is not a black box that magically gives us answers. we are empowering government
leaders to know where to focus their attention on things that just a look right. or individuals who may be being disenfranchised able to use the data to identify them so that they can be included in the electoral process as a part of our society. so, just to maybe tease out -- sorry, that's one. the second key function, and the first is being able to quickly integrate data. by the way, the jane -- game changer on bringing data together is -- let's say we were bringing 5, 6 rockets of data together. let's say that shone common appeared. when it comes together the question is, is it the same in those three buckets? right thereproblem has been the bottleneck for being able to do this at scale for a long time.
and now artificial intelligence and other next-generation tools allow us to do that almost instantly at scale. you can bring thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of individuals, placing the things together, letting the systems automatically identify when you have matches or not. one of the keys to doing this, though, and it's an important distinction, these folks don't have the luxury of hitting anything wrong. when i bring three of us together to make the determination if they are the same three sean conlon, i'm doing it aced on the probability is hopes to don't have the luxury. they have to be 100% right every time. what these tools can do, though, is help them identify that of these hundred thousand people, one million people, where do i highest probability of things that just don't look right on this list? i can have my workforce that is responsible for making sure i've
got voter integrity and things that are done well. where can they focus that energy? what we are doing at scale in virtually every industry around us. virtuallys across everything that touches our lives to the government. my focus is on the government. one of the reasons i was invited to the panel, and again, thank you for letting me participate, this election process lends itself very much to these kinds of tools that in the last two or three years have emerged. so, predictive ai is what we call it. 150,000f 100,000, registered voters, who are the just don't 3% that look right. let me just give you a couple of examples and then i will pass it back to nancy. in a state, for example, it's readily available for us to be
able to take everybody on the voter registration across the state, or any of the precincts and you could, for example, read at scale the obituaries that were publicly available over the last 10 years. to read every obituary ever written in the state of virginia over the last 10 years? that's a two-month effort with two of my people. we could bring that back and have it -- we could organize the information with people, the addresses, all the information that we know can be pulled back and we can just hang that against the list. i can be done and you can do that persistently. if you tried to do that five years ago, that was a big dollar item and a longtime pretty sophisticated team. i can now do things like that of a couple of people in short sprints.
so, that's a new capability being used in many different areas. part of the possible or provocative idea introduced to the conversation is from a u.s. society perspective, introducing these capabilities here. the second would he between states. if you want to be able to compare information across states, for example, an obvious one would you brown students. if a student lives in one place and goes to school in another and let's say for the sake of argument, these three actually know the answer, let's say that that is a population at high risk of disenfranchisement is they don't know where they should vote, what the rules are, what the wait time is, being able to identify those and proactively, i don't know, send emails, some kind of outreach or action could be taken if we knew in thoset high risk populations.
that's readily available, we can do that, it's not that difficult. another would be the veteran population, as mentioned earlier. like this tools identify at risk of veteran populations of disenfranchisement so that things can be proactively done? can you do that across many different populations of potential disenfranchisement for low-cost short sprints, helping the help people's confidence in the process grow. hopefully that's provocative and just a different lens on the problem. thank you very much for few minutes to share some ideas. >> these folks have all given their basic overview of what they do and what they see. let's open it up to questions. i have some. but i'm sure some of you must have some. just jump in. direct it to whoever you want. i see frank. >> this is a question for lesley. if i could just say -- thank all of you, nancy, the rest of you for putting this panel together. i teach the introduction to
public administration n my first lecture i always say one of the most important areas of administration is election administration. i think the scholarly community we haven't paid enough attention to it. . is is really an eye opener my question. we live in polarized times. if you look at certain association, state officials, whether it's the governors association, or goodness knows state attorneys general associations, republican and democrat. i was kind of struck by the secretary's -- secretaries of state when after the election there was massive fraud. commission established. and yet in this -- i haven't studied them yet. my impress is that the secretaries of state responsible
for elections sort of did two things. one, in a bipartisan basis, they said, this is totally exaggeration. fraud. we don't believe this. second, in many instances, refused to cooperate. with the commission, which appears to have gone away. my question to you as someone at the center of this association, obviously i think there are still parts and differences and perspectives on this. are you able to steer discussions of election administration into a kind of positive framing so that we don't get democrat secretaries of state and republican secretaries of state sort of at war? can you continue a kind of
bipartisan dialogue? >> i have something. sorry. it's something that we have worked really hard to maintain. we don't have -- we're not as well resourced as some of those other organizations that you referenced. we're small, close knit group. i do think that people come into the office, the secretary of state, depending how they get there, with certain passions that they have. but once everybody sits in the chair, they realize they are all experiencing the same challenges. and i think that makes a difference. i also think that the organization as a whole feels like nobody would be surprised by a statement by the democratic
secretaries of state about the issue of photo identity. and nobody would be surprised from the republican secretaries of state about integrity of the process. but when you come together and you make a statement as one that isn't a divide, i think it has a lot more impact and i think the secretaries work really hard to do that. last year before the commission began -- and we stayed out of the commission. we were not involved in that at all. but before the commission began, we made a statement that our members had said, we haven't seen the types of fraud, but if there is evidence that comes forward, we're happy to sit down and go through it and review it. that's a valid statement that everybody agreed with. it wasn't really that hard to make that statement, but i think it did surprise -- we got
national news coverage for that statement. surprising to me. i do think we work really hard to try to maintain that level of -- nonpartisan organization with bipartisan members. >> i just want to follow up. how many of your members, secretaries of state, are elected? >> a lot. a lot. 40 that are two state ewlecks officials. but i have 55 secretaries. 39 of the 50 secretaries. but we have them appointed by the governor, elected by the legislature, so they come to us in a variety of ways. >> i have a short question for linda. you say you were appointed. who appoints you? >> in virginia the structure is a local electoral board
appointed by the circuit courts in each jurisdiction, each court jurisdiction. two members represent the party of the current governor, and the third is the minority party. >> the circuit court of arlington county? >> not directly. i am appointed by the electoral board, who is appointed by the circuit board. >> in reading the newspaper, i have a concern when the secretary of state who oversees the election process, the registration process, is also running for a higher office in the state. to me that is a little bit of a conflict of interest. i wonder if you have any -- >> our organization does not take a position on that.
yes, i do not know why -- that does not necessarily violate. yes, there is a code of conduct that elections will be run in a nonpartisan way. let's face it, if the fix was in everybody who ran for public office of the secretary of state would be in there, and it's not. i think that honestly the more state laws and rules and regulations that are in place prior to an election helps with some concerns about any sort of finger on the scale sort of erception. i do think it is -- these are my bosses. i work for these people. i am honored to work for all of hem. >> this is my question, too. there is a fundamental conflict of interest when the person running the election is a
andidate for the election. it seems to me that it should be a matter of course to have a recusal process in place to protect against that conflict of nterest. it makes me wonder at the federal level whether -- these are state and local issues, but there is a national question here about protecting voter confidence against the perception of a conflict of interest. there could be some national guidance about that. my question for all three of you, and for nancy, too.
there is an advocacy piece of it. >> all i can say is, yes, a lot of people feel that way. my perception is it would be very hard to change. i do not think any federal entities have the authority to mandate this. i do not believe the eac has -- well, they do not have any regulatory authority, and that is the only agency that has administrative guidance. they put out guidance on a lot of things. i doubt that they weigh in to the political aspect. their own association, since those are members, maybe they would vote on it, but it seems unlikely. so a lot of people share your concern. personally, i share that concern, but in terms of is there a way to fix it, ersonally i do see one anytime soon given all the players and
the decision-maker, who could really make it happen. but i will let the three of them -- >> this answer does not come from the eac, it is my own personal opinion. in 2000 the secretary of state was elected from florida. that was changed from being unappointed position, but the person appointing that position was the governor, who is also elected. so you do not get rid of the issue because that person is still subject to an appointment by an elected official. so i think that there is a lot of different ways to go about doing this, but i think there is going to be problems with anything over how those people are put into their positions. it goes down to it is nothing new, because the secretary -- the secretary of state from georgia ran for governor before, and she was still elected.
right, that is what i am saying. the fact that this is nothing new from around the country. >> i would also -- i think that the secretaries feel there is an accountability they are held to because they are elected by heir citizens. if they were not doing the job that the citizens wanted them to do, they would have been voted out. that is an argument i hear a lot. i understand the perception issue from the other side. do. >> they are citizens who are allowed to vote. >> do we have other types of questions? >> i believe i heard you say
that 48 out of 50 states take advantage of that. i would like to hear more about that and which states opt out. >> it is not a question of pting out. oregon is a state that they vote entirely by mail. we are not testing any of their machines if they vote by ail. the aspect of it is, we have a testing and certification division. it is not a large division. we are only 25 total in terms of employees. e have two testing labs that are certified through mis-- nist nd ilab -- i fear got what the -- i forgot what the acronym stands for.
the testing labs are voted on by the commission, and they do all sorts of testing whether or not it is the error rates or the dealing with the temperature of it being too cold, too hot, moisture. it is like any other piece of equipment that goes through testing that has, for instance, the ul designation from this. -- from nist. it is the most rigorous testing of voting equipment in the world, is what i have heard from different countries. i heard that pieces of canada wants to basically take up some of our testing for their voting equipment. but it is basically i am trying to figure out how to explain it to you. it is a testing and certification program tself. it goes from some states -- they put it in their statute that says their equipment has to be eac certified or other agency certified.
other states do it just from three or four pieces of our testing. it is totally voluntary. once a state says we want to volunteer our voting equipment under these parameters, then it is run through that gauntlet. >> one follow-up. i wonder if your commission had any voice -- let's go back to the 2000 election. i was in tallahassee during that time. n tallahassee, the governor, governor bush, had been strongly supported by the police, on election day, set up roadblocks. drivers license checks that were strategically situated between the black neighborhoods and where they would vote. i know they tried to correct some of these issues. does the commission have any
voice that says that these sorts of administrative structural impediments on voting day -->> no, that would be more something for doj to take up. we are the only agency that deals 100% with the administration of elections. we do not have any enforcement authority to deal with anything like that. >> they are doing it. >> of course. [question inaudible] >> they were checking drivers icenses. >> i will make a few comments here. these are the sort of things at the local level -- and i say this to the napa community. one reason we're having this
panel is raising the awareness so many decision abouts how elections are run are made at the state level and at the local level. everybody lives somewhere in a local area. i live in arlington, and i feel very good about the way linda and others run our elections. but from my perspective, i know that is not the case from around the country. that is why we went through a lot of ways barriers can be imposed, and sometimes it is inadvertent. sometimes there is not enough staff someplace to think about that. sometimes it is not inadvertent. it seems quite obvious. over time, we can see that certain practices do end up affecting some communities more than others. election after election, it would be not just a mistake but something else. a lot of those things are political. they are decided either by the local election authority or
something else, and people -- the league of women voters around the country work with election officials. they try to, in the cases of things that are just maybe for election officials who are not as far ahead of the curve as linda is, anticipating the fact that turnout in this election will be higher than most off year elections -- if you do not plan for that, you do not have enough polling places, machines, poll workers. then you have long lines particularly in the communities that you are used to not having turned out. and then they turn out, communities of color and communities with a lot of young people, and there are long lines and so forth. these are things that can be affected, but the way our system is, it is a lot less than many of us are used to in other parts of our government, a lot less
that the federal government can do without some major changes. iven that the eac was formed after 000, several of us were in organizations, it was a huge political fight just how to create it. frankly a lot of pushback from the states to minimize standardized federal control and regulation. it is there mostly to help, but their ability to make anybody do anything, maybe it is nothing or maybe it is next to nothing. >> we do give great advice to some states on the administration of elections. i was thinking more about your example, and i thought about something that happened recently with the foreign influence of elections. we have gotten -- the communications pieces has increased a lot. one of the things that i have been hearing because i have them
-- not only been honored to go to most of the states to talk to folks, i have been able to go to several different countries and talk to our military and overseas voters as well and americans living overseas. when they were requesting their ballots for this election, and contacting certain states, they were being denied access because they were coming from foreign ip addresses. we worked with a couple of states to say can you set up a help desk to allow these folks -- that they can go to a particular department to request their ballot. those are some of the things that we were able to work with. we were not aware of it until some of our military folks brought it to our attention and overseas voters. those are some of the things that we have to ensure that people -- >> i do not want to take anything away from the eac. i have known a lot of the commissioners over the years, and they have done everything
they can with a small staff. there are not that many federal agencies that never existed at all and have been created. this is the mission they have. we still have time for questions. am i missing somebody in the corner that i cannot see? did you have one? >> i did. thank you for an interesting and very timely panel. the administration of elections is something we do not talk about. we know there are all sorts of things that happened prior to he administration. i was wondering if you could talk about your responses to the eports about foreclosures, the purging of mail voters, new voter laws, and all sorts of
other things that are really working to suppress voters. think the potential of ai use -- using block chains to address oter fraud is very exciting. to think about some of this predictive ai that can also be used, i mean, everybody thought social media was going to be this great boost for democracy, and we see how that turns out. i have some concerns. the benefits are only as good as the algorithms used to program it. because it is such new technology, i am not sure we roned out all the kinks. even some of the language that was used to say that we could use ai for things that just do not look right, that is suggestive of voter fraud, which is a much smaller problem. i was wondering if you could talk about ai and that context.
>> the first part of that or the second part? >> why don't you go ahead. >> like any tool it's as good as the person or people using it. i would suggest, in some of the examples i had, being able to identify those who are at risk of disenfranchisement and try to identify them and find ways to pull them in, whether it's students living between -- living in one state and going to school in another one, or veterans overseas. and help get people into the very process is a practical way and readily available. but to -- any tool can be misused. >> are you helping states to do that kind of work? as a country, we have
volunteers. we have people doing yeoman's work with with very few resources. we're deploying these capabilities with very positive impact in many different areas. this is an island that just has not been touched. part of the message, you all are thought leaders. you all are leaders in this area. this is not about what i do or what my teams do, but introducing these kinds of capabilities into the space is probably worthy of a onversation. i can see a line of sight where it can be used for positive ends. these predictive models -- how do you safeguard against bias in prediction? it is a big deal. as we relied more and more on these predictive models -- and we do. we may not even realize it.
it is a big deal to safeguard against biases. i echo many of your concerns. >> i would also note that there is an organization that over 20 states belongs to call the the electronic information registration center. the reason not all of them participated is because it costs money. basically, there are a number of agencies that provide information to the electronic registration information center so less maintenance can be done in a more effective way. whether it's the state vital statistics office. the state dmv, the voter registration lists from the state. and then they bring in a change of address from the postal service. there are a lot of different things that come together. put out reports for the states, and whoever is not a part of the
voter registration system after they go through and clean this process, they get mailings to encourage them to register to vote. there are 24 states now that are participating. there may be a way to incorporate what you are talking about into that process, but there are ways that the states are working -->> is it a purely opt-in? >> the cost is more about the mailings having to go out. > interesting. virginia is a member. to get rid of dead people, to get rid of people who moved to other states. >> in virginia, we have pretty robust practices. in addition to what leslie mentioned -- we get roughly monthly updates from that
program about deceased from other states, for example. we do an annual mailing of people that would match from other states through the national change of address system. if there is a difference in address, we say, hey, where do you really live? and we are allowed to remove them under federal law after the second federal general election. we do not remove them for nonvoting purposes in virginia, although that is practiced in other states. that is state law. we also get -- we are also getting monthly updates from the bureau of viable statistics, from criminal records, from local courts, individuals who have been mentally adjudicated. there are a lot of different fields of sources of information that come into our system. if you go to the virginia state ebsite, you can see this
elaborate report that they have to report to the zwren assembly every year that shows all of these different sources of data that match against our database, so we can do our best to keep our records clean. >> first of all, i want to thank you. my confidence is much higher than it was. i just had a couple questions. i wanted to comment on a follow-up. i come from a law enforcement background. i can tell you, as you said, five years ago -- i come from a jurisdiction where -- [laughter] the importance of predictive ai,
think it is cutting edge. i agree -- my two questions are, first of all, you indicated the tabletop exercise. what percentages roughly of jurisdictions use tabletop since 2015? >> a center out of harvard is the organization that set up the prototype. they brought the secretaries of state together and election officials from those states where the secretary doesn't have jurisdiction to train them on how to conduct table top exercises. i would say probably -- i know that 47 states and localities participated in tabletop that was held by dhs. but then states have conducted their own. they bring in their local election officials. i participated in one in colorado. i know they have had them in tennessee, in florida.
a large number of states have -- west virginia, they have held them so that -- it's not just -- the one held by d.h.s. in august was a video where you participated by a video connection. the ones that have been held in the states have been in person, and they have been extremely helpful. >> the one in august, one of the reasons that a couple of states did not participate is because t was on primary days. > are there any particular limitations in states according to statutes? > it was put in title i to allow for flexibility, but you still cannot spend the money on a party or building a building. i say that because that has appened.
but our ig -- we will get reports back starting on december 31 to the end of the calendar year to talk, to find out what states are spending, and the ig will monitor that and whether or not it is acceptable. and of the almost $4 billion we have given out i would say a small percentage of that has been deemed to be an acceptable. -- unacceptable. so states are using this money wisely, or congress would not be giving it out. for the most part, there is new voting equipment and so forth. and cyber security are things that these states are spending money on. >> i agree with everything, except the part where he said --
[indiscernible] >> i appreciate the question about how technically this is all working. the best system, as we know, is actors, theye bad will find ways to do things. so what have state officials been able to do, or what kind of moral authority do they have to upl with things that show the day of the election? we have to have a system where you can get that done, the ide. those are clearly intentional efforts. if there are bad actors at higher levels, maybe there is nothing to do about it, but can you do anything? can you at least call it out so
that it only suppresses may be the morning vote and by the afternoon they are gone? >> i think that is a great question and one of the things i have found that occurs in the last 15 years as we have moved toward alternative methods of voting. for instance, i have already voted. i would be about the check my registration, make sure my vote counted and so forth. so i view election day now as the last day that people can cast their ballots. so as linda was saying earlier, september 22, when folks were sending out their overseas and military voting, they opened up early voting and excused absentee voting site. so i think of it as if you have , questions about registration or if you worry about things, try to vote early and get those things taken care of as immediately as possible. but also, i always say, and i said this earlier -- participate in the process. serve as a poll worker. and make sure that that
confidence remains high. >> i would say that the secretaries are working very hard to get information out there. about the voting process. why citizens should have confidence in the process. a lot of jurisdictions, you will find very long ballots. i found one in arlington. i went to vote a couple of weeks ago. >> it is not as long as it is in florida. [laughter] >> i know. but you have constitutional questions. the ballots incorporate a lot of reading. that creates a lot of lines. so we are asking people to know what will be on your ballot before hand, know where your polling place is, check your voter registration status, make sure the information is correct. and then sending that out by via the press, get that information out there. you can check on our website.
what i think -- the challenges that we face now is that voters are getting texts from parties, candidates, campaigns, random we do not even know where they are coming from, with some correct information, some misinformation, and some disinformation. right? some is misinformation because they screw up unintentionally. i know that everybody thinks it isis a conspiracy, but unintentional that there has been a date screw up. then there is disinformation, which is intentional. we are working closely with facebook and twitter to try to take some of this information down. report the information. we have direct reporting channels to facebook and twitter reporting about this. you know we do not want to be , disenfranchised. we do not want people to be confused. we want people to participate. we want people to serve as poll workers.
it is a crappy job, miss linda -- [laughter] >> but you keep coming back. >> i keep coming back, 20 years. it is important. it is a great experience and we -- you will learn a lot about how the process actually works. you will hear information from voters when they come into the polling place that will shock you because it is so not accurate. and it is -- so anyway, it is difficult to get correct information out there when you are getting information from so many sources, but we are really trying. >> i am going to add one comment to barbara. and then i will ask my own question. but the league of women voters , has struggled with this for years. we have been calling out league anders at the local level at the state level, wherever things were happening, calling them out, going to the legislatures, this and that. however, at least during the
time i was there, we stopped the most aggressive calling out the closer we got to an election. because some of the studies , some of them done by the ford foundation showed that the more you told people, there could be a problem, they are going to keep you from voting, then a lot of people thought that is intimidating to me, i do not feel like going. i think we will continue like this in cyber security. on the one hand we want the , public to know there are problems and we want to know if they are being addressed. but the more you tell people that we are addressing problems, the more it seems like there is a lot of problems and a worry in , addition to the fact that something bad might happen is just creating in everybody's mind this worry about the system that they will never know , if something bad happened. and i think that all of us should worry about that, certainly the public administration community broadly
. but i am not even going to ask you guys come. although -- i want to ask something else. >> i would like to say one thing. terminology is important. when the term "hack" is used when a hack did not happen. >> right. >> when the dnc was hacked, that was not in infrastructure or election issue. and so the terminology is important. and it impacts the confidence that the public has. and so if you see a headline about election hacking and then have to read a 10-page story to see that that is not really what they are talking about it is , frustrating for us. and there are so many challenges that we are facing when it comes to cyber security. but getting the words right really matters.
>> that is a great point. the final point i want to make is you have a lot of people in the room and more broadly who are at an academic institution. and what would you say to them -- and the broad administration -- they run public administration programs, so what what the skill levels and might you say to them about what schools of public administration could do to enhance those skills, not just the more routine things but the larger awareness of how to be effective in these very challenging roles that are changing. do you have any thoughts? i would like to catch this for the record. >> i would like to start with this one because as you probably saw from my bio, i do have an mba. i got that after i started working in elections. and like most people who work in elections at my level who were
not necessarily elected, you tend to fall into elections from something else. you may be have worked in public administration or you just have general administrative skills -- that is how i got into it, because i was in arts administration prior to working in elections. then i started working at the polls, and an opening happened at the elections office for the deputy registrar and i was qualified because i had a general administration skills, and things have evolved since then. you do not have many programs that train local election administrators. that is very necessary. we have some of our professional associations that have training programs, professional training programs, but to have the degree in election administration is pretty much unheard of. and i think there does need to
more focused on the importance of this role and the , part that we play in the overall public administration. >> i would say going back to the theme i have had today, with your students, have them serve as poll workers. as an administrator, a professor, you have authority over those students. i would say give them -- [laughter] make it credit, make it part of a paper or something like that, that they serve as a poll worker. because elections happen two to three times per year, so it will happen during a semester. you know, that is one thing. the other piece of that is, you know, give us advice on things. for our voluntary voting system guidelines, that was open to the public for people to make
comments on. if there are added aspects of that that need to be thought about, give us your opinions on that and we welcome those. >> i would just say there are a handful of programs across the country. i know that auburn university has a program. and the humphreys school at the university of minnesota has a program. humphrey is -- online, it is a certificate program. i think it is really important as we move forward that we get students who are passionate about this issue, election administration. combining it with cyber security programs at universities should be something that happens asap, . baking the cyber security into a system as you are developing it as opposed to layering it on top after the fact. i do not know much about it, but
it seems like there should be a better approach. so having students that bring with them both of those skill sets of public administration and cyber security is going to be something that we are looking for. we are already looking for people with cyber security skills at the state level. it is a very difficult, small pool of people who want to work in state or local government that can make more money than in the private sector. >> it might also, aside from the cyber security point, to get to barbara's earlier point, if we had programs where some of the values that we are talking about here where more indebted -- embedded where some of the -- them what the election workforce expected it to do, it would be more likely to be executed, not just at the mercy of other political decisions where they go, i guess, let's do it. the more people understand and
know the fundamentals. the fact that there is no fraud for instance. , but if they do not know that and they do not know what to do, that is what we need to work on. on the scholastic side, there should be more opportunities. which is one reason i was happy to create this panel, and i would like all of you thank them for joining us. at this very busy time. [applause] and i sure i don't need to urge am any of you to vote, but i do want i have some cards here that talk about the 411 site. if you have children in other areas or relatives who have retired and moved someplace else, it is a way to look up everything. the laws in the state, who the candidates are, and where their polling place is, because we found that 50% of the calls to the hotlines on election day are just people asking where do i go to vote. basic. thank you so much for coming.
we can adjourn and go to lunch. the political report calls this [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] announcer: 2018 election results will come in as poll close across the country. tonight, the first polls close at 7:00 p.m. eastern in virginia and georgia. ohio, west virginia and north carolina close a half-hour later. much of florida closes at 7:00 p.m., except for part of the panhandle where they close at 8:00 p.m.
in pennsylvania, the new england states and several southern states, including mississippi and most of texas, also close at 8:00 p.m. arizona, wisconsin and new york gre a mom a number of - amon a number of states that close in on a copy of eastern. iowa and utah close at 10 about p.m. california and hawaii will close at 11:00 p.m. eastern. no polling site in oregon or washington state, but vote by mail ballots are due by 11:00 p.m. alaska closes voting at midnight eastern. for electionsource coverage 2018. which party will control the house and senate? watch c-span's election night coverage starting tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern, as the results come in from house, senate and governor races around the country. hear the victory a