Information and elections departments have become every bit as much a communications department as they have become administrative departments.
Americans across the country will go to the polls and cast their ballots next week, but they won’t all do it in exactly the same way. The U.S. has 8,800 voting jurisdictions, which allows for local adaptation, but presents a challenge when it comes to standardizing elections. That variability might be part of what’s fueling a wave of mistrust about voting integrity, and a heightened interest in how elections work. Despite experts assuring us that 2020 was the most secure election in the country’s history, fears about voting fraud or voter suppression make it into the news almost daily, and social media complicates the information ecosystem. Election administrators have a new role to play as communicators, laying bare the inner workings of their operations. A panel of election experts at the Aspen Ideas Festival break it all down and share their insider perspectives. Kim Wyman used to run elections in Washington state, and now works on election security at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA). Stephen Richer is the Maricopa County, Arizona recorder, managing elections for the nation’s second largest voting jurisdiction. Election law expert and UCLA professor Rick Hasen provides an academic view of our current context. Former CISA director Chris Krebs moderates the conversation.