Expert Profile

David Becker

Director, Election Initiatives
The Pew Charitable Trusts

David Becker is the director of election initiatives for Pew. He supervises work in election administration, including research and reform efforts to improve military and overseas voting; assess election performance through better data; use technology to provide voters with information they need to cast a ballot; and upgrade voter registration systems.

As the lead for Pew’s analysis and advocacy on elections issues, Becker oversees research and works with states to modernize registration systems. He also testifies before state legislatures and other government entities, presents at relevant conferences across the country, serves as a media resource, and identifies and implements partnerships.

Before joining Pew, Becker served as a senior trial attorney in the Voting Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, where he led numerous investigations into violations of federal voting laws regarding redistrictings, minority-language voter rights, voter intimidation, and vote dilution. He also served as lead counsel for the United States on litigation over statewide redistricting in Georgia in 2001, which was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court in Georgia v. Ashcroft. In addition, he supervised federal monitoring of elections and helped direct Department of Justice policy on enforcing the Help America Vote Act.

Becker received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.


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Reports & Publications

May 25, 2012

Improving Elections By Helping the Voter (Spring 2012 Trust Magazine Article)

The Pew Center on the States is working to make outdated voter rolls more accurate, ensure military and overseas ballots are counted and help citizens get timely information on polling places, candidates and election rules.

February 14, 2012

Inaccurate, Costly, and Inefficient: Evidence That America’s Voter Registration System Needs an Upgrade

This report underscores the need for an effective system for maintaining accurate voter registration information, because current systems are plagued with errors and inefficiencies that waste taxpayer dollars, undermine voter confidence, and fuel partisan disputes over the integrity of our elections.

January 27, 2012

Democracy from Afar: States Show Progress on Military and Overseas Voting

Significant changes in state laws since the passage of the federal 2009 Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act have greatly improved the ability of Americans abroad to vote and have their votes counted. The 2012 election will be the first time changes enacted in 47 states and the District of Columbia affect the process of voting for a president by military and overseas citizens.

December 8, 2011

Being Online Is Still Not Enough

"Being Online Is Still Not Enough" provides state-by-state reviews and analysis based on detailed criteria of election websites for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It also includes recommendations for improving each site to better inform voters, and provides a list of best practices adopted by many states to maximize their election office’s online presence. This report follows Pew’s initial 2008 study, "Being Online Is Not Enough."


April 2, 2010

Voting Information Project: Partnering with Election Officials to Inform American Voters

This brief explains how the Pew Center on the States, through the Voting Information Project, is working with election officials across the nation to provide cutting edge technology tools to make voting information accessible online to all Americans.

October 16, 2008

Being Online is Not Enough: State Elections Web Sites

A 50-state analysis released by Make Voting Work, a project of the Pew Center on the States, examined the usability of states' election Web sites and found that voters cannot easily locate information online.

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News Room

February 14, 2012

Pew: One in Eight Voter Registrations Inaccurate; 51 Million Citizens Unregistered

According to a new report by the Pew Center on the States’ Election Initiatives, approximately 24 million voter registrations in the United States—one of every eight—are no longer valid or have significant inaccuracies. This ground-breaking examination of the nation’s voter rolls underscores the need for registration systems that use the latest technology to better maintain voter records, save money, and streamline processes—an effort that eight states are spearheading with Pew’s support.

November 7, 2011

County Plans to Prevent Provisional Ballot Problems

An article on Hamilton County, Ohio's efforts to avoid ballot problems in this year's election features a quote from David Becker, director of Election Initiatives for Pew Center on the States.

September 29, 2011

“Data Dispatches” from Pew’s Election Initiative Debuts on Web

The Pew Center on the States’ Elections Initiatives project has launched a new Election Data Dispatches feature on the PCS Web site. Election Data Dispatches provides a new platform for readers to receive the best stories, data, research and analysis that the world of election administration has to offer.


January 6, 2009

Study: Overseas Military Personnel Face Time Challenges when Voting

A third of U.S. states are lagging behind in providing overseas military personnel enough time to vote in the elections, according to a study released today by the Pew Center on the States.

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