2019 NVRTF Conference Speakers

  • Ben Adida, National Voting Rights Task Force Conference Speaker

    Ben Adida

    Conference Discussion Topic: Open Source Voting Ben Adida is CEO of VotingWorks. His passion is using technology to empower individuals and level the playing field. Ben has extensive experience in voting systems, identity & payments, health IT, security & privacy, and Web architecture. He has developed free software for more than 20 years and Web software for close to 25 years. He is a Board Member at Creative Commons. Previously, Ben was VP of Engineering at Clever, Director of Engineering at Square, Director of Engineering at Mozilla, Research Faculty at Harvard Medical School / Children’s Hospital Boston, and research fellow with the Center for Research on Computation and Society at Harvard. Ben co-founded three bootstrapped startups: ArsDigita (1998), OpenForce (2000), and Webdash (2005). He received his PhD from MIT’s Cryptography and Information Security group.

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  • Barbara R. Arnwine, National Voting Rights Task Force Conference Speaker

    Barbara R. Arnwine, Esq

    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

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  • Jan BenDor

    Conference Discussion Topic: Michigan Voting Jan BenDor is a founding member of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Michigan Election Reform Alliance.org, which advocates for voter protection 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 is advancing a state bill for mandatory hand count audits of the vote, and is currently leading the effort to stop gerrymandering in Michigan, with a coalition of democratic rights advocates–Voters Not Politicians.com. 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 audits, and put teeth into enforcement of federal laws against voter purging and suppression. Website: MichiganElectionReformAlliance.org

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  • John Roberts Brakey

    John Brakey

    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: ElectionNightmares.com

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

    Dr. Emma Briant

    Conference Discussion Topic: TBA Dr. Briant’s presentation will be conducted remotely by video. 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…

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  • Jennifer Cohn, National Voting Rights Task Force Conference Speaker

    Jennifer Cohn

    Conference Discussion Topic: TBA In the wake of the 2016 election, Jenny Cohn became interested in election integrity. Her initial research concerned voting machine vulnerabilities, but she soon wondered how we came to have such a flagrantly insecure voting system. Though her quest continues, what she has unearthed thus far is alarming. Her goal is to verify and separately source (with mainstream media articles wherever possible) each fact that led to our flawed voting system. She is propelled by the notion that we must understand how we got here in order to find our way out. Background: Jennifer Cohn received her BA in Psychology from UCLA and JD from Hastings College of the Law. She practiced law for over 20 years and was a partner with Nielsen Haley & Abbott, LLC in California. Her practice focused primarily on insurance coverage and appellate law. She left the practice of law several years ago to focus on her young family.

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  • Garland Favorito, National Voting Rights Task Force Conference Speaker

    Garland Favorito

    Conference Discussion Topic: Hacking Georgia 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. Website: https://voterga.org/

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  • Dr. Robert J. Fitrakis

    Conference Discussion Topic: TBA 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”.

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  • Lulu Friesdat

    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

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  • Emily Levy, National Voting Rights Task Force Conference Speaker

    Emily Levy

    Conference Discussion Topic: TBA 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. She has worked on election projects in her home state of California as well as in Arizona, New York, Wisconsin, Nevada, and New Mexico. Her writings on election issues have been published by The Hill, Op-Ed News, and The BRAD BLOG. Website: https://www.auditelectionsusa.org/

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  • Ray Lutz

    Ray Lutz

    Conference Discussion Topic: TBA 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

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  • Virginia Martin

    Dr. Virginia Martin

    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.

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