Election security has been top of mind for election officials since the 2016 elections, and efforts are well underway to strengthen election infrastructure for the 2020 elections and beyond. Leveraging governmental and non-governmental partnerships, including with new actors to the elections space like the Department of Homeland Security and state National Guard units, state and local election officials are working tirelessly to harden their systems and adopt cybersecurity best practices.
The EAC announced the winners of our 2018 Clearinghouse Awards for Best Practices in Election Administration. The awards, also known as the Clearies, provide election offices across America an opportunity to share their innovative efforts and celebrate successes. The Clearies play an important role in furthering the EAC’s responsibilities under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). Under that act, the EAC serves as a clearinghouse for election administration information.
On Wednesday, October 3, 2018, just one month before the 2018 midterm elections, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission will host the EAC Election Readiness Summit in the Capitol Visitors Center from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET. During the first panel, I will speak with Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, Joe Rozell, Elections Director of Oakland County, Michigan and Meagan Wolfe, Administrator of Wisconsin Elections Commission.
I’ve met countless voters across the nation and often hear stories about the unacceptable obstacles many have faced when registering to vote. Many voters face such obstacles because they have a disability and because an election worker, or a team of election workers, didn’t know how best to serve them. However, many jurisdictions are implementing innovative programs to address this issue.
This week, as we mark the twenty-eighth anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it is important to remember that election security cannot come at the expense of election accessibility.
I am honored to moderate the fourth and final session of the day, “Trends in Election Administration and their Impact on Language Access,” which aims to take the discussion beyond the importance of Section 203 compliance towards expanded approaches to language assistance. Today, I am pleased to announce the panelists who will join me for this discussion.
Following a panel on Election Day preparation, Chairman Thomas Hicks will be sitting down with four expert panelists to discuss how election officials and other stakeholders are using data to improve Election Day and voting processes.
Despite the millions of Americans who serve as poll workers in each federal election, there remains a chronic shortage of election workers in the United States. In 2016, for example, nearly 65 percent of jurisdictions reported some level of difficulty in obtaining a sufficient number of poll workers. As a result recruiting, training, managing and retaining election workers is constantly on the minds of election officials.
Ahead of the 2018 midterm election, improving access to voting while boosting election security and ensuring privacy for individuals who need special provisions at the polls is a critical issue for election administrators and voters.
This week, I had the opportunity to address members of Congress about the work the U.S. Election Assistance Commission is doing to help America vote. My remarks came just days before the 15th anniversary of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which was enacted on October 29, 2002. That legislation created the EAC and remains the steadfast compass for our commission’s work.