Cybersecurity and Election Protection 

As we move closer to the next wave of elections aimed at bringing American values back to center, we are increasingly aware of the threat of outside influence on our votes and insider tampering with the rights of individuals to even cast votes. This meeting is featuring speakers who have worked to minimize the interference of groups and governments external to the United States peddling influence to help sway voters and the threat of various political factions working to deny rights of US registered voters and those who are guaranteed that right as US citizens. Presenters include:

Marcia Johnson-Blanco, Co-Director, Voting Rights Project, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and  She will focus on cyber security issues related to voting rights protection. As co-director of the Voting Rights Project, she leads the nation’s largest non-partisan voter protection program, oversees the work of National Commission on Voting Rights, promotes election reform, ensures minority participation in redistricting and helps ensure that individuals with felony convictions regain their right to vote. It is also important to know about their voter helplines such as 866-OUR-VOTE. She also coordinates the Lawyer’s Committees international human rights work. Marcia Johnson-Blanco received her JD from Villanova University School of Law and her B.S. Degree in Linguistics from Georgetown University. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center.

Edgardo Cortes, Election Security Advisor, Brennan Center for Justice where he works on the development of regulations, legislation and litigation related to election security. When he was the first Virginia Commissioner of Elections, he led voter registration and election administration modernization efforts which resulted in: establishing paperless voter registration at DMV locations, integrating DMV transactions with the online voter registration system, and establishing an online, paperless absentee ballot request system and an easier to use voter registration form. He also created an online assessment of election administration and made election data more accessible to the public. You may want to read his report on “Better Safe Than Sorry: How Election Officials Can Plan Ahead to Protect the Vote in the Face of a Cyber Attack.” He has a B.S. from Cornell University and a Masters degree in political management from the George Washington University.

Aquene Freechild, Co-Director, Democracy is for People Campaign, Public Citizen where she focuses on election security, getting money out of politics, and ensuring that everyone’s vote counts. She co-founded the Secure Our Vote coalition to help state and local election officials protect from, and if needed, recover from computer errors or hacks. She recently led the passage of the 2018 DC Fair Elections Act.

Other experts are welcome as we seek to protect US national elections as well as the Nov. 2019 Virginia elections that are so important for many reasons including the potential to make Virginia the 38th state to ratify the ERA! Also check “Cybersecurity, Social Media Manipulation, Fake News and the Future of Democracy” from 2018 GeekWire conference.

CWI meetings are free and open to the public. Bring your own lunch. 

RSVP to attend the meeting is required. Click here to RSVP.

Next CWI meeting, Noon Tuesday October 22, 2019. There will be no November meeting this year due to its proximity to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Check for meeting cancellations. The 11 Dupont Circle entrance is on New Hampshire Ave., across from the Dupont Plaza Hotel. Metro stop: Dupont; south exit.

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