EVN 2017 Symposium

Election Verification Network (EVN) Symposium
Improving Election Security: How to Anchor the Cornerstone of Democracy

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

GWU School of Engineering & Applied Science
800 22nd St. NW Washington, D.C.

EVN Symposium Agenda

9:30am –  Coffee and networking

10am –  Welcome & Introductions–Dana DeBeauvoir, Travis County Clerk

10:15am –  Keynote: Adam Ambrogi, Director of the Elections Program, Democracy Fund

This election saw a lot of challenges related to the trust people have our system of elections. From a loud public call that elections are “rigged” to a response that elections are easily “hackable”—there are new challenges on whether the public trusts our system of elections.  Given this environment, how will voting issues fare?  Adam Ambrogi with the Democracy Fund shares insights into which actions states and congress may take, and how we might work together to help support trust in our system and increased participation.

Voter Sentiments on the U.S. Election System

11am –  Break

11:30am –  Do We Want to Recount or Not? Presidential Election 2016

Kimball Brace, elections data expert at Election Data Services and Matt Bernhard, a computer science graduate student working with Alex Haldeman at the University of Michigan, will present their findings from the three-state recounts following the November Presidential election.

Election Recounts in 2016 (pptx)

12:30am –  Tell It Like It Is: From Physics to Fake News

Eric Geller, Politico reporter discusses his experience covering technical information in a polarizing, political environment during the Presidential election, answering questions such as:  Why can’t reporters call a lie, a lie? What is their biggest challenge?  Will they change their approach next election based on lessons learned last year?

1pm –  Lunch & Networking 


2:30pm –  Special Guest Speaker:   Getting Public Relations Right in the New Administration

Scott Stapf, co-founder of  the Hastings Group public relations firm, will offer insights in putting our best foot forward in the new administration, distinguishing between offensive and defensive PR, building bridges, and words of wisdom for the future.

3:15pm –  Break

3:30pm –  Closing Keynote: Marian K Schneider, Deputy Secretary for Election and Administration: The Deep Dive Report on Hacking from the Obama Administration

Get the latest update on hacking databases, sanctions, and what (?) the new administration plans to do to protect elections databases from being hacked and used against the public in the future.

Background to “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution (pdf)

Joint Analysis Report – GRIZZLY STEPPE – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity (pdf)

NASS page on Election Cybersecurity

4:15- 5pm –  Closing Commentary: The Takeaway

Thomas Hicks, Commissioner, Election Assistance Commission and two other surprise attendees will offer final thoughts about the comments made by speakers during the day, lessons important to EVN, and share insights on how EVN can remain helpful to our election friends.

5pm           Friends Cocktail Reception