2019 NVRTF ConferenceElection IntegrityEventsInternet VotingVoting Technology

Conference Speakers Announced for The Coming 2020 Election Crisis: In Paper We Trust

Meet Our Nationally-Recognized Election Integrity Leaders

Barbara R. Arnwine, National Voting Rights Task Force Conference SpeakerBarbara R. Arnwine, Esq – Voting Rights Alliance (Chair) and Transformative Justice Coalition (Founder)

Conference Discussion Topic: Voter Suppression

Barbara R. Arnwine, Esq, president & founder of the Transformative Justice Coalition, is internationally renowned for contributions on critical justice issues including the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the 2006 reauthorization of provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Currently, she also serves as Co-Chair and Facilitator of the National Commission for Voter Justice, the Millennial Votes Matters Convenings and the Voting Rights Alliance.

Website: Voting Rights Alliance and Transformative Justice Coalition

Jan BenDor – Michigan Election Reform Alliance, Founding Member

Conference Discussion Topic: Voter’s Guide to Alternative Vote Counting Reform Proposals


Why voters seek reform–spoilers, stalking horses, undervotes, wasted votes, Electoral College, “primarying” as a weapon. The faddish nature of reform proposals by well funded advocacy groups.

  1. Counting system designs and flaws–plurality,RCV/IRV, approval, value voting
  2. Election reform priorities
  3. Verifiability problems
  4. Technical and security issues
  5. Voter usability
  6. Legal problems
  7. Political barriers


Jan BenDor is a founding member of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Michigan Election Reform Alliance.org, which advocates for voter protection, election verification, and comprehensive election security. A state-accredited elections administrator and election worker trainer, with lengthy experience as a deputy township Clerk, she volunteers as the Michigan Election Reform Alliance Statewide Coordinator. MERA co-led the successful 2018 effort to stop gerrymandering in Michigan, passing a state constitutional amendment to establish an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. Jan joined the Board of Directors of the National Election Defense Coalition in 2014. NEDC is working in Washington to enact bi-partisan legislation that would end all use of paperless voting machines, mandate manual risk limiting audits, and put teeth into enforcement of federal laws against voter purging and suppression.

Website: MichiganElectionReformAlliance.org

Lynn BernsteinLynn Bernstein – Election Security Advocate, Engineer

Conference Discussion Topic: State of Things in North Carolina

Lynn Bernstein started to question the infallibility of our elections in 2016 and since then has been pushing for secure hand-marked paper ballots and greater transparency. Seeing the glaring problems with our critical election systems, she decided not to return to the engineering field and instead works full-time as an election security advocate. She earned a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and had a career integrating and testing satellites. Now she is driven to research and understand the technical details and procedures involved in the entire voting process, from certification of systems to post election tabulation audits. Her belief is that voter confidence and voter turnout will improve with greater transparency and a simple voting method that people can understand. Voting is a sacred right and it is crucial that everyone has the opportunity to cast a vote that is verifiable, counted accurately and audited for assurance.

John Roberts BrakeyJohn Brakey – AUDIT USA

Conference Discussion Topic: Ballot Image Audits

John R. Brakey is a longtime election transparency activist from Arizona who has specialized in electronic voting machine security and hacking issues for nearly two decades. His group, Americans United for Democracy Integrity and Transparency – AUDIT-AZ, a nonpartisan organization, has been involved with or filed numerous lawsuits that have challenged reported election results and illegal election procedures. It has exposed the problems with insiders and vendors due to the fact that our elections have been computerized, privatized and outsourced.

Presently, our focus is on solutions to make Elections Transparent, Track-able and Publicly Verified. The new digital technology which is fully capable of “… retains individual digital ballot images for auditing and adjudication” is being suppressed and destroyed. This tech is rapidly replacing the old “Mark Sense” optical scanners. The new Digital Image Scanners that count Hand Mark Paper Ballots produce ballot images that must be used to De-Corrupt our Democracy by: Link to paper: www.tinyurl.com/ybzjktjr

Website: AUDITelectionsUSA.org

Dr. Emma Briant, National Voting Rights Task Force Conference Speaker

Dr. Emma Briant – Visiting Research Associate in Human Rights

Conference Discussion Topic: Social Media, Propaganda and the Influence Industry

Emma Briant specializes in the topics of propaganda and political communication, and is interested in changing technologies and their implications for democracy, international security, migration, inequality, and human rights. Current projects include a book on Cambridge Analytica, Propaganda Machine: The Hidden Story of Cambridge Analytica and the Digital Influence Industry; and a coauthored book with Robert Entman, What’s Wrong with the Democrats? Media Bias, Inequality, and the Rise of Donald Trump. Briant completed her PhD at Glasgow Media Group, University of Glasgow, where her dissertation examined changes in Anglo-American counterterrorism propaganda strategy since 9/11. This work became a book, Propaganda and Counter-Terrorism: Strategies for Global Change, and led to many international invited talks. Her first book, the coauthored Bad News for Refugees, looked at UK political and media discourse on migration prior to the Brexit referendum in 2016. Her work has also appeared in Critical Sociology, Journal of Media Education, International Journal of Press/Politics, Race & Class, openDemocracy, United Nations Association Magazine, and Sociological Review, among other publications. She previously served as Senior Lecturer in Journalism at the University of Essex, Lecturer in Journalism Studies at University of Sheffield, and researcher at the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University.

BA, Coventry University; MRes, Glasgow Caledonian University; MSc, University of Glasgow; Diploma, Literature and Creative Writing, Open University; PhD, University of Glasgow. At Bard since 2019.

Website: http://www.emma-briant.co.uk

Jennifer Cohn, National Voting Rights Task Force Conference Speaker

Jennifer Cohn – Journalist, Attorney and Election Integrity Advocate

Conference Discussion Topic: Voting Machine Vendors: Opacity, Corruption, and Lies

Jennifer Cohn is an election integrity advocate and writer whose articles on election security have been published in the New York Review of Books, WhoWhatWhy, Salon and TYT Investigates. She is also an attorney who practiced insurance coverage and appellate for many years as a partner with Nielsen, Haley & Abbott LLP in California. Since the 2016 election, she has focused her efforts on investigating insecure computerized election systems and promoting potential solutions. She has about 100,000 followers on Twitter, where her account serves as a blog providing daily updates and commentary on election-security developments throughout the country. Her Twitter handle is @jennycohn1.

National Voting Rights Task Force Conference Expert, Dr. Richard DeMilloDr. Richard DeMillo – Charlotte B. and Roger C. Warren Professor of Computing at Georgia Tech

Conference Discussion Topic: Ballot Marking Devices Cannot Assure the Will of the Voters

Two competing election systems purport to be auditable and software independent: hand-marked paper ballots and paper ballots printed by machines called Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs). In this talk, I will discuss recent work with Andrew Appel and Philip Stark, arguing that BMDs are neither software independent nor meaningfully auditable by Risk Limiting Audits (RLAs). We also introduce two new conditions called contestability and defensibility that are necessary for an audit to confirm election results.

Dr. Richard DeMillo’s Bio

Richard DeMillo is the Charlotte B. and Roger C. Warren Professor of Computing at Georgia Tech. He founded and directs the Center for 21st Century Universities, Georgia Tech’s living laboratory for fundamental change in higher education. His research includes numerous articles, books and patents in software engineering, cryptography, and cyber security. He holds what is believed to be the only patent on breaking public key cryptosystems.  He has served as a foreign election observer for the Carter Center and has served on boards of public and private cybersecurity and privacy companies, including RSA Security and SecureWorks. He is a fellow of both the Association for Computing Machinery and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Garland Favorito, National Voting Rights Task Force Conference SpeakerGarland Favorito – VoterGA, Co-Founder

Garland Favorito is a Career Information Technology professional with over 40 years of in-depth experience in internet systems design, business systems analysis, database administration, application development, systems integration, systems life cycle methodologies, computer programming, project management, and multi-factor security for financial transactions.

Conference Discussion Topics for Two Presentations: Unresolved BMD Security Threats and Events in Georgia that May Impact Other States

Garland Favorito will update the audience on Georgia’s amazing landmark findings that are of value to other states throughout the U.S. He will start with a brief, remarkable history of how Georgia was hacked, cover legislative and judicial actions take, and provide a status of actions in progress. He will also delve into the centralized election preparation system that is vulnerable to a single point of attack and explain how the vulnerability can be used to infect any voting machine in any county for any election without detection and without access to a physical machine. He will cover the landmark ruling that banned DREs in Georgia and the legal case against unverifiable BMDs with references to his new white paper entitled Unresolved Security Risks of Ballot Marking Devices.

Website: https://voterga.org/

Dr. Robert J. Fitrakis

Conference Discussion Topic: Are US Elections Legitimate?

Bob Fitrakis is a lawyer, political author and writer, political candidate, and Professor of Political Science in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department at Columbus State Community College. He has been the editor of the Columbus Free Press since 1993 and wrote extensively about the U.S. presidential election, 2004 and related 2004 U.S. election voting controversies. His latest work he co-authored with Harvey Wasserman, originally called “the Strip & Flip Selection of 2016”, was updated to “The Strip & Flip Disaster of America’s Stolen Elections”.

Lulu Friesdat – New York Journalist and Filmmaker

Conference Discussion Topic: Organizing Observations

Lulu Friesdat is an Emmy award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on election reform and social change. She received a Best Documentary award for Holler Back — [not] Voting in an American Town, a film that explores systemic issues in our elections that discourage voter participation. Her network news experience includes assignments for CBS Evening News, Nightline, Sunday Morning, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. She produced profiles of Democratic candidates for MSNBC, and has done documentary work with NBC. A two-time recipient of the Edward R. Murrow award, her articles have been published on Alternet and Salon.

Website: www.hollerbackfilm.com

Lori Grace
Lori Grace

Lori Grace – Founder of the Institute for American Democracy and Election Integrity, TrustVote.org

Conference Discussion Topic: Panel: Where do we go from here?

Lori Grace, MA is the founder of the Institute for American Democracy and Election Integrity and is also currently a fellow of the Institute also known as TrustVote.org. She has been involved in issues regarding election integrity since 2003, when she first started working with Bev Harris of Black Box Voting. She founded the Institute with awarding Carolyn Crnich (now retired) of Humboldt County for her excellent work as a registrar supporting election integrity. She also wrote and hosted programs on the many issues that came up in the 2016 primaries and the election that followed. Lori, Bob and John Brakey all directors of TrustVote.org are all very oriented towards creating possible solutions to America’s many problems in election integrity and are excited by the increased amount of interest in the American public now has about this issue.

Website: TrustVote.org

Emily Levy

Emily Levy – Power to Make a Difference

Conference Discussion Topic: Now That You Know, What Will You Do?

Emily Levy has been a leader in the election security movement since 2004, when she coordinated the first phase of the precinct-level statistical forensic investigation into the presidential election in Ohio.

Her advocacy for election security has included election projects in her home state of California as well as in Ohio, Arizona, New York, Wisconsin, Nevada, New Mexico, Virginia, and Florida. She specializes in helping members of the public understand complex election technology and security issues and become active in working for secure and transparent elections.

Emily has volunteered or consulted with the Election Protection Coalition, the Richard Hayes Phillips Project, The BRAD BLOG, Election Protection Strike Force, Election Transparency Coalition, Filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman, CODE RED author Jonathan Simon, Ballots for Bernie, AUDIT-AZ, AUDIT USA, and SMART Elections. Her writings on election issues have been published by The Hill, Op-Ed News, and The BRAD BLOG.

Website: http://powertomakeadifference.com/

Ray LutzRay Lutz – Citizens Over Sight (San Diego)

Conference Discussion Topic: Auditing

Ray Lutz, trained as an engineer in electronics and software, founded Citizens Oversight in 2007 to enable civic engagement. Most recently, he has been active improving election integrity using the Snapshot Protocol and intense oversight of election processing. Sued San Diego County Registrar Michael Vu in 2016 for deficient auditing procedures, and won. Now appealing to extend to all counties. Also suing San Diego county for voted ballot accessed. Started the Open Ballot Initiative to use ballot images to provide election oversgiht. In 2011, Ray was arrested for attempting to register voters, and he sued the City and won.

Website: Citizens Oversight

Virginia MartinDr. Virginia Martin – Elections Commissioner, Columbia County, New York

Conference Discussion Topic: Audits

Dr. Virginia Martin was appointed Democratic Election Commissioner in Columbia County, New York in 2008. 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 have conducted full hand counts of paper ballots in every election. They have developed an efficient, prompt, cost-effective, and fully secure bipartisan process that welcomes public oversight. Its modest funding is spent locally on appreciative and well-trained poll workers. Martin is frequently called upon by various organizations and the media to speak about her county’s vote-tabulation process.

Karen McKim – Wisconsin Election Integrity, Coordinator

Conference Discussion Topic: Wisconsin Voting

Karen McKim has been coordinator of the Wisconsin Election Integrity Action Team since its formation in 2012. The group focuses on management of elections technology, particularly as it relates to verification of computer-tabulated results. In October 2014, we achieved one important objective: Convincing the state elections agency to make it clear that local clerks can verify accuracy before they certify results. She has a master’s degree in public administration from the UW-Madison, and is retired from a 30-year career in state government, working in management auditing and quality assurance. In 2016, she ran for county clerk.

Website: WisconsinElectionIntegrity.org

Steven RosenfeldSteven Rosenfeld – Journalist for Alternet

Steven Rosenfeld has been an award-winning American journalist for nearly 30 years. He covers national affairs for AlterNet.org, including democracy issues. Previously, he has reported for National Public Radio, Monitor Radio and Vermont newspapers. He has written several books on U.S. elections, including an account of partisan voter suppression in Ohio in 2004’s presidential race, a profile of Vermont’s 1990 House race electing Socialist Bernard Sanders to Congress and a forthcoming book, Inside Job: How American Elections Are Still Rigged Against Voters.

Conference Discussion Topic: Avoiding Self-Inflicted Wounds: Behind The Dems’ Decision to Cancel Virtual Voting in Iowa and Nevada Caucuses, and Other 2019 Takeaways

The DNC Rules Committee’s decision to not debut “virtual voting” in 2020’s Iowa and Nevada caucuses was a rare victory of reason and risk-assessment. But it didn’t come out of nowhere. The Dems wanted to increase participation. They saw telephone voting platforms as the path. But reporting that emphasized what went wrong with earlier prototypes, missing pieces in their proposals and what could go wrong in untested systems pointed to an avoidable self-inflicted wound. By mid-summer, other activists, academics and security experts weighed in. The party leadership reluctantly reversed course. This episode highlights many issues that will be emerging as new voting systems are debuted in 2020 and beyond—as well as what kind of public critique was persuasive.

Jonathan Simon – Author of Code Red

Jonathan Simon is the author of CODE RED: Computerized Election Theft and The New American Century and Executive Director of Election Defense Alliance, founded in 2006 to restore observable vote counting as the foundation of American democracy. He specializes in election forensics and has been an advocate for electoral integrity since 2002, authoring many papers and collaborating with numerous other researchers and organizations. He tweets @JonathanSimon14, blogs at www.CodeRed2014.com/blog , and can be reached at verifiedvote2004@aol.com.

Conference Discussion Topic: We Count Now: A Sea-Change in Vote-Counting and Public Participation

Election integrity has come to resemble trench warfare. In one county ES&S is dealt a temporary setback while in another state DREs become unverifiable barcode BMDs, and federal election security legislation is DOA. It takes a great deal of effort just to fight the Brian Kemps and Mitch McConnells of the world to a draw. Many have asked me, somewhat pleadingly, ‘What else can we do? Just tell us, what can we do?’ In response I’m introducing the WeCountNow campaign, a community-based plan to transform the public’s role in the Election Night process from passive to active. The standard “lament” of BOEs is ‘We have to use computers because we could never find enough humans to do the job of counting votes.’ WeCountNow will show them and America how wrong they are, and how ready, willing, and able WE are to count votes and observe the count in public. If we want public, observable vote counting, our first step is to show how dead serious we are about coming together to do that job.

Dr. Barbara SimonsDr. Barbara Simons – Verified Voting

Conference Discussion Topic: Election System Security

Barbara Simons is a former President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the nation’s largest educational and scientific computing society. She is the only woman to have received the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from the College of Engineering of U.C. Berkeley, where she earned her Ph.D. in computer science. A fellow of ACM and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, she also received the Computing Research Association Distinguished Service Award and the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award. An expert on electronic voting, she published Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?, a book on voting machines co-authored with Douglas Jones. She has been on the Board of Advisors of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission since 2008, and she co-authored the report that led to the cancellation of Department of Defense’s Internet voting project (SERVE) in 2004 because of security concerns. She was a member of the National Workshop on Internet Voting, convened by President Clinton, that conducted one of the first studies of Internet Voting and produced a report in 2001. She co-authored the July 2015 report of the U.S. Vote Foundation entitled The Future of Voting: End-to-End Verifiable Internet Voting. She is retired from IBM Research.

Bennie Smith

Bennie Smith

Conference Discussion Topic: Fraction Magic

Bennie Smith has a passion for election transparency, serves on the Technical Advisory Team for SMART Elections and is most known locally for his micro-targeting application and predictive analytics method to forecast voter turnout. Smith is most known nationally for a proof of concept application he developed and a research series he participated in to examine election system vulnerabilities. Both were covered by Bloomberg in its Cyber Security Segment and the cover story for Bloomberg Businessweek. Smith’s research uncovered an extraordinarily high-risk tampering mechanism and ultimately provided a new infrastructure for analyzing questionable election results. Smith’s work has been referenced in congressional hearings, cited as the ground work for the Ballot Images Project, and has been presented to Secretaries of States, US Congress Representatives and a number of Election integrity organizations and communication mediums.

Norman Solomon, National Voting Rights Task Force PresenterNorman Solomon – Author, Columnist, and Activist

Conference Discussion Topic: Media & Voter Turnout

Norman Solomon is an American journalist, media critic, author and activist. His dozen books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” The Los Angeles Times called the book “brutally persuasive” and “a must-read for those who would like greater context with their bitter morning coffee, or to arm themselves for the debates about Iraq that are still to come.” The newspaper’s reviewer added: “Solomon is a formidable thinker and activist.” The Humanistmagazine described the book as “a definitive historical text” and “an indispensable record of the real relationships among government authorities and media outlets.”

A full-length documentary film, narrated by Sean Penn, was based on “War Made Easy.” The New York Times review called the film “ultimately persuasive” and said: “Many of its arguments have been made before … but Mr. Solomon digs deeper and hammers harder.”

Solomon is the founder of the Institute for Public Accuracy, a consortium of policy researchers and analysts. He is IPA’s executive director and the coordinator of its ExposeFacts program.

He is co-founder and national coordinator of the online organization RootsAction.org, which now has 1.5 million active supporters.

Website: https://www.normansolomon.com/

Jim Soper – Counted As Cast, National Voting Rights Task Force

Conference Discussion Topic: There is No Magic Bullet

Jim Soper has been a democracy advocate since 2005. He is co-chair of the Voting Rights Task Force, and author of CountedAsCast.org. He has also been a senior software consultant, and teacher.

Website: countedascast.org

Dr. Philip Stark
Dr. Philip Stark

Dr. Philip Stark – Professor of Statistics and Associate Dean of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley

Conference Discussion Topic: RLAs and my Beefs with BMDs

Philip B. Stark is Professor of Statistics and Associate Dean of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the  University of California, Berkeley. He invented “risk-limiting election audits,” and worked with the Secretaries of State of California and Colorado to pilot and deploy risk-limiting audits. Stark has published more than 200 articles and books and has given lectures in more than thirty countries. He has consulted for the U.S. Department of Justice and five other federal agencies, the Georgia Department of Law, and the Illinois State Attorney. He has testified to the U.S. House of Representatives, the California Senate, the California Assembly, and the California Little Hoover Commission. He has been an expert witness in numerous matters including several election integrity cases. Stark serves on the Board of Advisors of the US Election Assistance Commission and the Board of Directors of Verified Voting Foundation.

The above experts are confirmed conference speakers. Please revisit as we are awaiting confirmations from more experts.

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