On Tuesday, June 22, 2021, Free Speech For People and Coalition for Good Governance held a virtual forum on Zoom, featuring experts in election administration and computer science to explore this rapidly expanding election technology.

Electronic Ballot Marking Devices (BMD), once used primarily to offer assistive technology to mark a paper ballot, are now being adopted widely as the primary voting method for all voters in several states and counties. But how do these machines satisfy the principles of security, transparency, and auditability necessary for trustworthy elections? And what are the potential legal complications? This forum will take an in-depth look at these questions and more, and aims to provide election officials, state and federal lawmakers, voters, and stakeholder groups with critical considerations regarding the use of BMDs as a primary voting method.Presented by Free Speech For People, Coalition for Good Governance, Professor Richard Demillo, Chair of the School of Cybersecurity and Privacy at Georgia Tech*, and Professor J. Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan’s Center for Computer Security and Society.*
*Affiliations listed for identification purposes only and do not imply institutional endorsement.

Video: Watch the Virtual Forum

12:00pm ET– Welcome and Introduction

Susan Greenhalgh, Senior Advisor for Election Security, Free Speech For People

Marilyn Marks, Executive Director, Coalition for Good Governance

Amid mounting evidence of  vulnerabilities in electronic voting machines, and the growing focus on securing our elections, broad consensus has emerged among election officials, computer scientists, national security experts, election stakeholders and voters, that all votes should be recorded on a paper ballot. For years, that meant most voters would mark choices with a pen on a pre-printed paper ballot, and that voters that may be unable or uncomfortable hand-marking their ballot would use an assistive ballot marking device. Assistive ballot marking devices are essential to provide differently-abled voters the opportunity to mark a paper ballot privately and independently.

However, in the last few years voting system vendors have promoted the “universal-use” ballot marking device (BMD) voting model, in which all voters use an electronic device to access an electronic ballot image and record vote selections. The device then prints a paper ballot summary of the voters’ selections, in text and in a barcode. The ballot summary does not include the full ballot with all candidates and ballot questions. The ballot summary card is then scanned and the votes are tabulated.

Voting system vendors are promoting these systems as providing  “paper ballots,” but does the ballot summary produced by a BMD provide the same security, transparency and auditability properties achieved with ballots marked primarily by hand? And how does the universal-use ballot marking device model address other election management considerations like cost, logistics, administration, and legal compliance?

We will take a deep dive to answer these and other questions regarding the use of universal-use ballot marking devices.

12:15pm ET – Do universal-use ballot marking devices provide the security, verifiability and auditability essential for trustworthy elections?

The National Academies recently concluded that “there is no realistic mechanism to fully secure vote casting and tabulation computer systems from cyber threats”. Recognizing this threat, jurisdictions are increasingly adopting risk-limiting audits, which require paper ballots to verify the election outcome without relying on potentially hacked voting equipment. This panel will examine the growing range of security vulnerabilities and threats that elections face, including serious new risks posed by universal-use Ballot Marking Devices, and discuss whether universal-use BMDs and their ballot summary cards can provide the verifiability and auditability necessary to assure that election outcomes match the will of the voters, and how to use modern concepts of resilience to reduce reliance on untrustworthy voting system components.

Moderator:    Richard DeMillo, Chair, School of Cybersecurity and Privacy and Charlotte B. and Roger C. Warren Chair in Computing, Georgia Tech

Panelists:       J. Alex Halderman, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Director of the Center for Computer Security and Society, University of Michigan

Harri Hursti, Data Security Expert, Serial Entrepreneur, Board Chairman of the Election Integrity Foundation, and Founding Partner of Nordic Innovation Labs

Dima Nazzal, Director of Professional Practice, H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Tech

Kevin Skoglund, co-founder Citizens for Better Elections

Philip B. Stark, Associate Dean, Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Interim Regional Associate Dean, College of Chemistry and Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Professor of Statistics, University of California

2pm ET – Legal Consideration: How do universal-use Ballot Marking Devices protect or degrade voters’ rights?

In 2019, a federal court issued a landmark decision in the lawsuit Curling v. Raffensperger, ruling that Georgia’s direct record electronic voting machines could not be used because they did not protect a voter’s constitutional right to have their vote securely and reliably recorded and counted. As computer security experts have warned that many of the same issues exist with ballot marking devices, citizens have sought to challenge the legality of the BMDs in Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The attorneys arguing these cases will discuss the status of these suits, the  legal arguments, and facts of the cases.

Moderator:    Penny Venetis, Clinical Professor of Law, Director of the International Human Rights   Clinic, Rutgers University Law School

Panelists:      Shea Roberts, Georgia State House Representative District 52, Giacoma Roberts & Daughdrill, LLC Firm Co-Counsel for Plaintiffs, Coalition for Good Governance v. Raffensperger

Courtney Hostetler, Senior Counsel, Free Speech For People, co-lead counsel, NAACP NC v. North Carolina State Board of Elections

Robert McGuire, The Robert McGuire Law Firm, co-lead counsel for Coalition for Good Governance plaintiffs in Curling v. Raffensperger

3pm ET – Administration: What does it take to run elections on universal-use Ballot Marking Devices?

Running elections is a complex and intricate operation, and election officials are often overburdened and under-resourced. How does the universal-use Ballot Marking Device model ease or complicate the election process? What administrative procedures are made more efficient or more difficult with the adoption of universal-use ballot marking devices? These election administration experts will discuss the effort and resources that are needed to run elections on universal-use ballot marking devices, including logistics, polling place conditions and contingency plans in the event of failure.

Moderator:   Kevin Skoglund, co-founder Citizens for Better Elections

Panelists:      Marybeth Kuznik, Director of Elections, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania

Marcia Ridley, former Election Supervisor, Spaulding County, Georgia

Connie Schmidt, former Election Director, Johnson County, Kansas, retired

Grace Wachlarowicz, former Election Director, Minneapolis, Minnesota, retired

4pm ET – The price tag: The cost of running elections on universal-use Ballot Marking Devices

This panel explores the costs involved with running elections on universal-use Ballot Marking Devices for all voters. There has been robust debate – and conflicting information – on the true and accurate costs associated with adopting universal use BMDs. This panel features experts that have analyzed the costs of purchasing BMDs for all voters, as well as the ongoing and hidden costs involved with this election model. The panel will also provide comparisons to using pre-printed ballots and ballot-on-demand.

Moderator:    Dr. Virginia Martin, former Commissioner of Elections, Columbia County, NY

Panelists:       Chris Deluzio, Policy Director of the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security (Pitt Cyber)

Jeanne Dufort, Coalition for Good Governance

Eddie Perez, Global Director of Technology Development & Open Standards for the OSET Institute

Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, President, North Carolina State Chapter of the NAACP & Board Member, Guilford County, North Carolina Board of Elections

 5pm ET – Closing remarks

Susan Greenhalgh, Senior Advisor for Election Security, Free Speech For People

Marilyn Marks, Executive Director, Coalition for Good Governance

Moderators, Panelists, and Speakers

Susan Greenhalgh

Senior Advisor on Election Security, Free Speech For People

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Susan Greenhalgh is the Senior Advisor on Election Security for Free Speech For People. Ms. Greenhalgh has previously served as vice president of programs at Verified Voting and at the National Election Defense Coalition, advocating for secure election protocols, paper ballot voting systems and post-election audits. Recognized as an expert on election security, she has been invited to testify before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and has been an invited speaker at meetings of the MITRE Corporation, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Mid-West Election Officials Conference, the International Association of Government Officials, the Election Verification Network and the E-Vote-ID conference in Bregenz, Austria. She is a frequent source for reporters from TheNew York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Politico, USAToday, Associated Press, National Public Radio and other leading news outlets. She has appeared on CNN and MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, and various other television news shows. She has a BA in Chemistry from the University of Vermont.

Marilyn Marks

Executive Director, Coalition for Good Governance

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In 2009, after a narrow loss to become the Mayor of Aspen, I recognized the vulnerabilities in Colorado’s election systems. I then devoted full time to election integrity litigation and lobbying efforts for more transparent and verifiable elections. I successfully litigated the effort to make Colorado ballots open public records for postelection reviews, followed by more than 25 election-related cases involving election transparency or voter privacy (“secret ballots”). After moving back east, I became the driving force behind the current legal challenge to Georgia’s unverifiable electronic voting system. I now reside in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Richard DeMillo

Chair, School of Cybersecurity and Privacy at Georgia Tech

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Richard DeMillo is the Charlotte B. and Roger C. Warren Professor of Computer Science and Chair of the School of Cybersecurity and Privacy at Georgia Tech. He was previously Founder and Executive Director of the Center for 21st Century Universities at Georgia Tech and was named a Lumina Foundation Inaugural Fellow in recognition of his work in higher education. He previously served as Hewlett-Packards’ Chief Technology Officer, directed the Computer and Computation Research Division of the National Science Foundation and was the John P. Imlay Dean of Computing. The author of over a hundred articles, books, and patents, he is a Fellow of both the Association for Computing Machinery and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

J. Alex Halderman

Professor of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Michigan

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My research focuses on computer security and privacy, with an emphasis on problems that broadly impact society and public policy. Topics that interest me include software security, network security, data privacy, anonymity, election cybersecurity, censorship resistance, computer forensics, ethics, and cybercrime. I’m also interested in the interaction of technology with politics and international affairs.

For more detailed information on his research, teaching, and publications, here is a link to Professor Halderman’s website: https://jhalderm.com/

Harri Hursti

Data Security Expert, Board Chairman of the Election Integrity Foundation and a Founding Partner of Nordic Innovation Labs

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Mr. Harri Hursti is a world-renowned data security expert, internet visionary, and serial entrepreneur. He is Board Chairman of the Election Integrity Foundation and a Founding Partner of Nordic Innovation Labs.  He began his career as the prodigy behind the first commercial, public email, and online forum system in Scandinavia. He founded his first company at the age of 13 and went on to cofound EUnet-Finland in his mid- 20’s. Today, Harri continues to innovate and find solutions to the world’s most vexing problems. He is among the world’s leading authorities in the areas of election voting security, critical infrastructure, and network system security.

Election Voting Security

Mr. Hursti is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on the topic of electronic voting security, having served in all aspects of the industry sector. He is considered an authority on uncovering critical problems in electronic voting systems worldwide. In the last 16 years, Mr. Hursti has pursued this important area out of a sense of duty to his fellow citizens of the world, here are several of his critical findings and projects.

As a consultant, he has conducted and co-authored many studies, both academic and commercial, on various election systems’ data security and vulnerability. These studies have come at the request of officials, legislators, and policymakers in 5 countries; including the U.S. government, at both the state and federal levels.

As an ethical hacker, Mr. Hursti is famously known for his successful attempt to demonstrate how the Diebold Election Systems voting machines could be hacked, ultimately altering final voting results. Mr. Hursti was hired by the nonprofit elections watchdog group Black Box Voting, where he performed two voting machine hacking tests, which became widely known as the Hursti Hacks. The first Hursti Hack was set up in Leon County, Florida with the authorization of the Supervisor of Elections and these tests examined a Diebold Election Systems Accu-Vote OS 1.94w (optical scan) voting machine. The second Hursti test was conducted for Black Box Voting in collaboration with the County Clerk of Emery County, Utah, on a Diebold TSx touch-screen.

In response to these successful hacks, California’s Secretary of State commissioned a special report by scientists at UC Berkeley to investigate the results and confirm the validity of the testing methodology used in the Hursti Hack. The UC Berkeley scientists wrote a Special Report on the Diebold Accuvote Voting Machine in which page 2 of their report states: “Harri Hursti’s attack does work: Mr. Hursti’s attack on the AV-OS is definitely real. He was indeed able to change the election results by doing nothing more than modifying the contents of a memory card. He needed no passwords, no cryptographic keys, and no access to any other part of the voting system, including the GEMS election management server.”

These tests were filmed and turned into an acclaimed HBO documentary called Hacking Democracy which was nominated for an Emmy award for outstanding investigative journalism.  In March of 2020, In advance of the 2020 Presidential Election, Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections was released on HBO and features Harri as he takes us through a deep dive into the weaknesses of today’s election technology.

Dima Nazzal

Director of Professional Practice, H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Tech

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Dima Nazzal is an academic faculty member in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech. She is responsible for project-based learning in the Industrial Engineering undergraduate curriculum, including the capstone senior design course, and the cornerstone junior design course. She is also research director of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, she was Director of Research and Development at Fortna, Inc., an Engineering Design and Consulting company.

She received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2006, her M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Central Florida, and her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Jordan.

Dr. Nazzal’s research focuses on modeling, design, and control of discrete event logistics systems, including healthcare delivery systems, manufacturing systems, and distribution systems. Her recent work has focused on election voting systems, higher education response to COVID-19, understanding and driving higher childhood vaccination rates in developing countries, modeling of collaborative robots in distribution systems; scheduling and dispatching policies in semiconductor manufacturing, and energy systems development. She has worked with companies, non-governmental organizations, and healthcare providers, including ExxonMobil, Emory University, Samsung, Emory University, Gates Foundation, and Walt Disney World.

Kevin Skoglund

Co-Founder Citizens for Better Elections

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Kevin Skoglund is digital security and election technology expert, and the President and Chief Technologist for Citizens for Better Elections, a non-profit, non-partisan group advocating for evidence-based elections. Kevin serves on the NIST Voting System Cybersecurity Working Group which develops national guidelines for U.S. voting systems, and he is a designated speaker on election security for the U.S. Department of State. His past work includes advising non-profits, counties, cities, and members of the U.S. Congress on voting system technology and election legislation, researching security vulnerabilities, and identifying voting systems connected to the internet. Kevin is also a Judge of Election (chief poll worker) in Pennsylvania.

Philip B. Stark

Associate Dean, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, University of California

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My research centers on inference problems, primarily in physical and social sciences. I am especially interested in confidence procedures tailored for specific goals and in quantifying the uncertainty in inferences that rely on numerical models of complex systems. I’ve done research on the internal structure of Sun and Earth, climate modeling, clinical trials, earthquake prediction, the Big Bang, the geomagnetic field, election integrity, gender bias in academia, geriatric hearing loss, the U.S. census, the effectiveness of Internet content filters, endangered species, spectrum estimation, urban foraging, and information retrieval. I am also interested in nutrition, food equity, and sustainability and am studying whether foraging wild foods in urban environments could contribute meaningfully to nutrition, especially in “food deserts.” I am interested in numerical optimization, and have published some software.

I’ve consulted in product liability litigation, truth in advertising, equal protection under the law, jury selection, election security and contested elections, trade secret litigation, employment discrimination litigation, import restrictions, insurance litigation, natural resource legislation, environmental litigation, patent litigation, sampling in litigation, wage and hour class actions, product liability class actions, consumer class actions, the U.S. census, clinical trials, signal processing, geochemistry, IC mask quality control, targeted marketing, water treatment, sampling the web, risk assessment, and whistleblower cases.

I also created SticiGui, an online introductory Statistics “text” that includes interactive data analysis and demonstrations, machine-graded online assignments and exams (a different version for every student), and a text with dynamic examples and exercises, applets illustrating key concepts, and an extensive glossary. SticiGui was the basis of the first online course (in any subject) taught at UC Berkeley. With Ani Adhikari, I also co-taught an introductory statistics MOOC in 2013. Over 52,600 students enrolled in the course, of whom more than 10,600 finished and nearly 8,200 received a certificate of completion.

Penny Venetis

Distinguished Clinical Professor of Law, Director of the International Human Rights Clinic, Rutgers University

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Penny M. Venetis is the Dickinson R. Debvoise Scholar at Rutgers Law School, where she is a Distinguished Clinical Professor of Law and the Director of the International Human Rights Clinic. She has taught at Rutgers since 1993.

Professor Venetis is an expert in both civil rights law and international human rights law, and pioneered efforts to integrate international law into U.S. law. Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of human rights law and constitutional law.

She has litigated cases throughout the United States and throughout the world in areas as diverse as equal protection, freedom of speech, immigrants’ rights, refugee law, voting rights, human trafficking and gender equality. Her cutting-edge lawsuits include:

The first constitutional law challenge against computerized voting machines that do not produce voter verified paper ballots, because they cannot be audited for accuracy and cannot perform recounts.

Challenging “residents only” ordinances in multiple states because they are used to keep people of color out of municipal parks.

Using international human rights law to challenge horrendous detention conditions for asylum seekers being detained in the U.S.

Challenging EU regulations that did not allow for paternity leave for new parents.

She has devoted twenty years to election integrity matters and was involved in ten lawsuits in the summer of 2020 to ensure that voters had access to paper ballots and secure voting technology.  She also successfully defeated efforts to institute internet voting in New Jersey.  She has also published extensively on voting integrity issues.

While on academic leave from 2014 to 2017, Professor Venetis spearheaded a number of gender-justice projects as the Executive Vice President and Legal Director of Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund) the first women’s rights legal organization in the country. Those projects include:

Landmark litigation on behalf of child sex trafficked victims who were advertised online;

Drafting and helping to enact laws that criminalize “sextortion” (extortion where the perpetrator demands sex or sexual imagery rather than money); and

Advocating on behalf of victims of gender-based violence, including victims of campus sexual assault.

Professor Venetis’s work has been featured in two documentaries. “I Voted?” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016. The film which shows how computerized voting machines can be hacked, and elections stolen, was produced by Katie Couric. “I Am Jane Doe” (2017), the second documentary to feature Professor Venetis, won multiple awards and was the impetus for federal legislation protecting sex trafficking victims.

Before joining the Rutgers Law faculty, Professor Venetis worked for the United Nations Special Rapporteur Investigating War Crimes in the Former Yugoslavia, investigating the use of systematic rape as a war crime. The Special Rapporteur’s work was the precursor to the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal that was created to prosecute war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Professor Venetis started her legal career as a litigation associate at the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers, where she served on the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. Prior to joining the firm, she served as a law clerk to United States District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise.

Professor Venetis has testified before legislative bodies throughout the country, and has been quoted extensively by various media. She has received many awards for her work, including the New Jersey Law Journal’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2016.

Shea Roberts

Georgia State House Representative District 52, Giacoma Roberts & Daughdrill, LLC Firm Co-Counsel, Coalition for Good Governance v. Raffensperger

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Shea Roberts was elected to the Georgia State House of Representatives in November 2020.
Prior to her election, she advocated alongside the Coalition for Good Governance for
transparent and secure elections, including the implementation of hand-marked paper ballots in
Georgia. Since her election, Representative Roberts has worked with CGG on bi-partisan
election transparency legislation. A version of her bill (HB659), which requires disclosure of
ballot images to the public, was incorporated into Georgia’s newest election bill SB202. While
Representative Roberts is proud transparency was increased by her contribution to SB202, she
is troubled by many of the other unconstitutional provisions in the legislation.

Giacoma, Roberts and Daughdrill, LLC was formed in 2014 by a merger of Shea Roberts’
original law firm founded in 2002. The Firm is a real estate boutique handling land use, zoning,
construction, leasing and commercial real estate transactional work for clients in the metro
Atlanta area. Many of the constitutional arguments and statutory objections made in land use
litigation have similar application to those in the lawsuit challenging SB202’s unconstitutional
provisions. Representative Roberts welcomes the opportunity to be co-counsel in the lawsuit
challenging the legislation she was unable to defeat during the legislative session.

Courtney Hostetler

Senior Counsel, Free Speech For People, co-lead counsel, NAACP NC v. North Carolina State Board of Elections

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Courtney Hostetler is the Counsel for Free Speech For People. Previously, Ms. Hostetler served as staff attorney for South Coastal Counties Legal Services, where she helped low-income clients recover damages for wage theft and employment discrimination, and obtained special education services for traumatized children. Ms. Hostetler also worked at Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLC and ACLU Massachusetts, where she focused on eliminating discriminatory discipline practices in public schools. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Hostetler managed the Close Up Foundation’s national youth voting program and worked as a research analyst for the Genocide Intervention Network. Ms. Hostetler clerked for the Honorable James L. Dennis of the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Ms. Hostetler graduated with a J.D. from Yale Law School, an M.Phil from Oxford University, and a B.A. from Colgate University.

Robert McGuire

The Robert McGuire Law Firm, co-lead counsel for Coalition for Good Governance plaintiffs in Curling v. Raffensperger

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The Robert McGuire Law Firm was founded in 2009 as a civil litigation, advocacy, and advisory practice in Denver, Colorado.  In 2016, the firm expanded with the addition of a Washington State presence.  The firm is currently involved in active cases across the United States serving domestic and international clients.

Robert McGuire is the point of contact for all of the firm’s clients.  McGuire’s early professional experience and training came from one of the world’s largest law firms, Allen & Overy LLP in London. McGuire serves as counsel on all of the firm’s matters.

Publications & Speaking:

Panelist, DEF CON 27 Voting Machine Hacking Village, The Devil Went Down to Georgia. Did He Steal Souls? (Georgia’s Electronic Voting Saga) (Aug. 10, 2019).

Ian Ayres & Robert McGuire, Using the False Claims Act to Remedy Tax-Expenditure Fraud, 66 Duke L.J. 535 (2016)

Panelist, Institute for Law & Economic Policy, 22nd Annual Symposium: Vindicating Virtuous Claims (Apr. 2016)

Marybeth Kuznik

Director of Elections, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania

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Marybeth Kuznik is the Director of Elections in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania and President of the voting rights organization VotePA, which she co-founded. She is a licensed attorney and 2020 J.D. graduate of the Duquesne University School of Law, where she founded the school’s Election Law Society. Prior to law school, Marybeth became known for her strong advocacy on behalf of fair and accurate elections both in Harrisburg, PA and on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Earlier, she worked on the ground in Ohio as one of the original nine regional coordinators of the 2004 Ohio Recount and served as a pollworker for over 20 years in Westmoreland County, PA. Marybeth has observed at least 23 examinations of voting systems at the Pennsylvania Department of State, which is unofficially more than any other person except Department of State personnel.

Marcia Ridley

Former Election Supervisor, Spaulding County, Georgia

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Dekalb County – With more than 15+ years of experience in elections and records management, elections supervisor Marcia L. Ridley is on a mission to share vital information about Georgia’s elections process. Mrs. Ridley currently serves as the election’s supervisor in the State of Georgia and has served in many elections’ administration related roles over the span of her career. “With the integrity and fairness of the elections process weighing in the balance, now more than ever is the right time to share pertinent elections information” Ridley said. Mrs. Ridley’s experience as the deputy registrar of the most prominent counties in Georgia, where she was responsible for streamlining the process to locate and file more than 934,000 voter registration cards to retrieve voter’s information timely, has uniquely prepared her to share vital elections information.

With the loss of civil rights icons Congressman John Lewis, Rev. C.T. Vivian, and Rev. Joseph Lowry and many others, Marcia has made it her life’s mission to educate, empower, and motivate citizens to engage in the elections process, and carry on the legacy these great men and women who has fought and bled for. Mrs. Ridley has served and as elections administration and expert in which her duties there included administering counties, municipalities, federal, and state elections. She has deputized over 3000 people in the State of Georgia. She oversees the qualifying officer in the State of Georgia. Her commitment to serving the community and the State of Georgia is further demonstrated through maintaining current and to date election. Marcia played a vital role in the implementing the new Voter System in the State of Georgia. She has hired and trained poll worker throughout the State of Georgia to administer the voting during elections. The act of voting and elections. She holds the GEOA and Registrars Certification.

Mrs. Ridley’s mission of educating citizens about the elections process is deeply rooted in her desire to serve the community. ‘I’m proud to be an ambassador for elections and to play a small part in educating the citizens of Georgia” Ridley said. Mrs. Ridley is available to host elections workshops in partnerships with community organizations. Due to COVID-19, she is willing to host workshops via Zoom.

Mrs. Ridley holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from Shorter University of Rome, Ga and an Honorary Doctorate of Humanity.

Connie Schmidt


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Connie Schmidt served as Election Commissioner for Johnson County, Kansas from September 1995 to December 2004. Reappointed to serve as Election Commissioner for Johnson County in February 2020 – January 2021. Has worked in local government in Johnson County, Kansas for a total of 32 years and previously served as City Clerk for the City of Merriam, Kansas. Since 2005 has owned an election consulting business and has provided consulting services to numerous local and state agencies. Has also provided consulting services to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and served as the co-project manager for the EAC’s Election Management Guidelines/Quick Start Guides and EAC’s Successful Practices in Poll Worker Recruitment, Training and Retention Guidebook. At the national level served as the chair of the Professional Education Certification Board for the Election Center, and as a member of the NASED Voting Systems Standards Board. At the state level, served as a member of the State of Kansas HAVA Implementation Committee. Received the National Association of Secretaries State (NASS) Medallion Award in January 2021 for excellent service to the Johnson County Kansas Election Office during Presidential 2020 election cycle. Also in December 2004 received the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Medallion Award for outstanding service to American democracy. In August 2005 received a Lifetime Membership Award from the Election Center, Inc. and in August 2007 received the Election Hall of Fame Award from The Election Center, Inc.

During her tenure as Election Commissioner, Connie Schmidt successfully implemented three computerized voting systems, and has provided consulting services to support implementation of voting systems in jurisdictions nationwide.  She also authored various chapters on acceptance testing; pre-election testing; system/facility security; and developing an audit trail for the Election Assistance Commission’s Election Management Guidelines.

Grace Wachlarowicz

Retired Director of Elections Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Grace Wachlarowicz recently retired as the Assistant City Clerk, Director of Elections & Voter Services for the City of Minneapolis. For over 25 years, Grace administered all facets of municipal, school district, state, and federal elections. Most recently, she led election administration for the City of Minneapolis, the third largest electoral jurisdiction in Minnesota. Minneapolis is a diverse community with an estimated population of 430,000 and 270,000 registered voters. In her 9-year tenure with the City of Minneapolis, Grace shaped and implemented the Voter Outreach & Education program, helped redesign and grow the Student Election Judge Program, and continuously refined the City’s Ranked Choice Voting method. The City of Minneapolis also experienced growth in voter turnout under Grace’s leadership – especially gaining a higher turnout percentage in local and mid-term elections than was seen in the previous decade.

Grace has a degree in Business Administration, and she is a Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA) through the Election Center, a National Association of Election Officials.

Grace’s true passion is public service through election administration. She is regularly called upon for advice and guidance and intends to stay active in elections, both at a local and national level, throughout her retirement.

Virginia Martin

Former Democratic Election Commissioner in Columbia County, New York

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Virginia Martin served as Democratic Election Commissioner in Columbia County, New York from 2008 to early 2020. She received her PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in rhetoric and communication and has taught at both RPI and the University at Albany. Since the introduction of optical scanners in 2010, she and her Republican counterpart conducted full hand counts of paper ballots in every election. They developed an efficient, prompt, cost-effective, and fully secure bipartisan process that welcomed public oversight and resulted in high levels of public confidence. The process’s modest funding was spent locally on appreciative and well-trained poll workers. Martin is frequently called upon by various organizations and the media to speak about that process and has testified in courts around the country regarding election administration.

Christopher Deluzio

Policy Director of the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security

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Chris Deluzio is the policy director of the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security (Pitt Cyber), where he focuses on the intersection of technology and civil rights (especially voting rights, elections, and government algorithms). His writing and commentary have been covered in media outlets across the country, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PublicSourceThe Philadelphia Inquirer, ABC News, NBC News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Mother Jones, POLITICO, and SCOTUSblog. Chris’s recent reports offered a blueprint for Pennsylvania’s election during the COVID-19 public health crisis and called for more robust federal oversight of election vendors. He previously served as Pitt Cyber’s law and policy scholar, supporting The Blue Ribbon Commission on Pennsylvania’s Election Security. Chris has provided testimony about election security before the Pennsylvania Senate and the Allegheny County Board of Elections and was an author of a recent report about the need for further federal election security funds and an analysis of Pennsylvania counties’ selections of new voting systems. He represents Pitt Cyber in the Pennsylvania Election Protection coalition. In Chris’s prior role as Counsel in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, his work focused on elections and voting rights. His Brennan Center writing included nationally recognized work on voter purges, a procurement guide to assist in the selection and management of election vendors, and legal analysis of speech restrictions in polling places.Chris was previously a litigation associate in private practice and, earlier in his career, served as a law clerk to Judge Richard J. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.Deluzio received his Juris Doctor magna cum laude from Georgetown Law in 2013. There, he was elected to the Order of the Coif, served as an executive articles editor of the Georgetown Law Journal, and was selected as the Top Oralist in the Robert J. Beaudry Moot Court Competition and the Thurgood A. Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition. Deluzio received a Bachelor of Science degree with merit from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. Following graduation from Annapolis, he served as an active-duty naval officer. His military service included multiple deployments, including a tour of duty with Army Civil Affairs in Iraq.Chris volunteers as a pro bono attorney with The Veterans Consortium representing veterans before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, as a Veteran Mentor in the Allegheny County Veterans Treatment Court, as a pro bono attorney representing indigent tenants in mediation in Allegheny County, and as a Naval Academy Blue and Gold Officer mentoring and interviewing applicants to Annapolis. A native of Pittsburgh, Chris is a graduate of Bishop Canevin High School.

Jeanne Dufort

Vote Integrity Activist, Coalition for Good Governance

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Jeanne Dufort is a vote integrity activist from Madison, Georgia, and has been a plaintiff, with Coalition for Good Governance, in several lawsuits that have changed voting procedures in Georgia. A retired senior executive from the home furnishings industry, she spent decades working internationally and has significant expertise in cost analysis and supply chain management. In 2005, she created a real estate business with special focus on farms, homes with acreage, lakefront and historic properties. Jeanne serves on the State and Local Governance committee for Georgia REALTORS(r), helping shape their legislative priorities.

Jeanne majored in American Political Science at the University of Chicago – it’s a passion that informs her lifelong commitment to “doing governance”.

Edward Perez

Global Director of Technology Development & Open Standards for the OSET Institute

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Eddie is the Global Director of Technology Development & Open Standards for the OSET Institute.  He focuses on election administration, election technology, technology policy research, and government relations. He also is a principal liaison to the TrustTheVote Project Election Officials Stakeholder Community.

Mr. Perez brings a wealth of expertise in election systems design, implementation, security, usability, and standards. He is a veteran of the commercial election technology industry and formerly served as director of product management for one of the three major voting systems vendors in the U.S. Working closely with election officials across the U.S. for over 15 years before joining the OSET Institute, Edward utilized his skills to drive voting technology design, federal and state certification, field service and support, and voter education initiatives.

Mr. Perez is an NBC News contributing analyst on election systems and administrative practices, including technology, security, and public policy issues. Eddie is also a regular contributor to media outlets such as The Washington Post, The Associated Press, POLITICO, and The MIT Technology Review. He also speaks regularly on election technology and administration, including recently,

  • Providing public testimony before the U.S. Election Assistance Commission;

  • The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Committee on the Future of Voting; and

  • The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Future of Elections: Technology Policy and Funding Conference.

Edward is co-inventor of U.S. patents US8985435B2 and US10438433B2 in the domain of voting technology assigned to Hart InterCivic, Inc.

Mr. Perez earned his Master’s degree (Political Science) from the University of California, Berkeley and his undergraduate degree (Government) from Georgetown University.

Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman

President, North Carolina State Chapter of the NAACP & Board Member, Guilford County, North Carolina Board of Elections

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Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman has a Bachelor of Science Degree Summa Cum Laude from Mercy College in Yonkers, N.Y. in 1995; a Master of Divinity Degree Magna Cum Laude from Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, N.C. in 1998 ; and a Doctor of Ministry from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio in 2003. He is proficient in Greek, Hebrew and Spanish. Dr. Spearman is also a certified AIDS Counselor with the JRW Institute of Alcohol Studies in New York in 1991.

Dr. Spearman is an ordained minister with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church denomination (A.M.E. Zion). He has worked extensively in leadership of the denomination in North Carolina on many levels since 1997, and has been the pastor of St. Philip AME Zion Church in Greensboro, N.C since 2014. Prior to his pastoral career, Dr. Spearman worked in correctional institutions, hospitals, colleges, and community based programs as a substance abuse counselor.

Dr. Spearman’s father was a great influence in his life. Back in the early sixties his father purchased NAACP memberships for his three children and said, “Always keep your membership up in the NAACP. You will spend a lifetime fighting for justice.” He is a Life Member of the NAACP, and has been a member for 53 years.

Dr. Spearman has been a courageous and controversial servant in the NC NAACP in the Historic Thousands on Jones Street Movement (HKonJ), and the Moral Monday Movement. In 2011, he was named the NC NAACP Minister of the Year. He served as the Third Vice President of the NC NAACP from 2011 – 2017, and was elected president in October 2017.

Dr. Spearman has won numerous awards including the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network Golden Shovel Award in 2001, Spirit of King Award in 2007, Equality NC Champion of Equality Award in 2011, and the Catawba County Democrats Spirit of Democracy Award in 2013. From 2005 – 2014 he lived in Hickory, N.C. where he served on the Hickory City School Board for three year prior to his move to Greensboro. Dr. Spearman has been the president of the N.C. Council of Churches since January 2017.

Dr. Spearman is well known as a civil rights activist. He has been a plaintiff in three lawsuits challenging policies of the State government. The School Opportunity lawsuit of 2013 addressed the issue of using state funds for private school vouchers, which ​could drain public resources from our public schools. The lawsuit served to arouse public interest, and this issue is far from settled.  In 2016, Spearman played an important role in the Voter Suppression litigation that ​resulted in​  a great public outcry about Voter ID and ​other​ ​legislation that would suppress votes in minority and poor white communities. The Richmond Court of Appeals overturned ​this legislation as a result of this lawsuit. Dr. Spearman is presently a plaintiff in the 2017 Instruct our Lawmakers suit, challenging the ​N.C.​  Lt. Governor and other legislators of violating the state Constitution by giving no notice for a “special December session” to ram through laws to undercut the Governor’s power. Dr. Spearman hopes the courts will stop this kind of quick-call back-room lawmaking, where the public does not hear about it until it’s too late to do anything.