Georgia Secretary of State’s Office Hosts Election Security Experts from Around the Country

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger hosted a roundtable on election security alongside David Becker, founder and executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research. Joined at the Capitol by more than a dozen experts from organizations including Microsoft, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Augusta University, Becker led a wide-ranging discussion on the status of Georgia’s election security.

“Georgia is making great strides in ensuring that elections in the state are more secure than ever before,” said David Becker, founder and executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research. “I was honored to co-host this roundtable discussion about election cybersecurity with experts from all over the country, including computer science and election technology experts. Our discussions were another step towards protecting Georgia’s voters, along with Georgia’s move in 2020 to paper ballots, with effective audits to confirm the technology counted those ballots properly.”

“I was pleasantly surprised by how many of the potential issues raised today have already been neutralized by steps our team has previously taken,” said Jordan Fuchs, Deputy Secretary of State. “Our office will continue working tirelessly to provide each voter with a seamless transition to the new BMD system.”

The roundtable attendees also discussed Georgia’s efforts to further secure its elections.

“We appreciate Secretary Raffensperger including us in today’s cybersecurity roundtable,” said Ginny Badanes, director of Microsoft’s Defending Democracy Program. “We were encouraged by the expertise at the table and the efforts being made by the state to create a secure voting experience for the people of Georgia.”

Becker and his panel of experts were joined at the roundtable by a number of county elections officials, including Bartow County Elections Director Joseph Kirk and Muscogee County Elections Director Nancy Boren.  

“The roundtable provided an excellent opportunity for me to learn more about the new devices we will be implementing and the steps I can take to better secure elections in my county,” said Nancy Boren, Muscogee County elections director.

List of attendees:

Ginny Badanes, Microsoft

Jennifer Morrell, Democracy Fund

Lindsey Forson, National Association of Secretaries of State

Whitney Quesenbery, Center for Civic Design

Dennis Mott, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

Klint Walker, Department of Homeland Security

Ben Spear, Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center

Alex Schwarzmann, Augusta University

Nancy Boren, Muscogee County Elections

Joseph Kirk, Bartow County Elections

Ryan Macias, Lafayette Group