Hacking Democracy II : On Securing an Election Under Times of Uncertainty and Upheaval

Democracy is the cornerstone of America’s Constitution, identity, and ideology, and this foundation was shaken during the 2016 Presidential Election. Four years later, we still have great lengths to go to ensure that the integrity of the 2020 Presidential Election, and any election moving forward, is protected.

In February, this panel convened to discuss the threats and challenges that are present and may arise between then and the November election. We discussed the intersection of people,technology, security, and elections, with a focus on themes including:

  • The true scope of the problem when it comes to “hacking elections”
  • The biggest threats to the 2020 vote–threat modeling for disinformation, voting machine vulnerabilities, website hacking, and election manipulation
  • The role of hackers and coordinated vulnerability disclosure in building voter trust and improve cyber-resilience
  • The impact for the elections in the west at large, driven by the U.S.’s prominence as the champion for democracy.

However, we did not know a pandemic and a constantly changing rhetoric by candidates and government leaders, along with several court cases, primaries and other events would add even more challenges for the 2020 election. We will discuss what is left in the 90 days left between now and the election, what can be feasibly helped by the public, governments, and others to ensure a secure and valid election, as well as what will need to be carried forward as lessons learned.