Voting in America 2012

Looking Back, Looking Forward

On Monday, December 10, and Tuesday, December 11, 2012, The Pew Charitable Trusts brought together approximately 200 leaders from the election administration field—election officials, academics, media, advocates, and tech experts—to take a look back at this election, and a look forward to policy reform in the coming years.  

The Voting in America event included notable attendees from all over the country talking about the most pressing issues in election administration.

Watch the event on C-SPAN 3, and view the Twitter discussion by searching the hashtag #VIA2012. 

Listen to the full audio of the panel discussions and view the PowerPoint presentations below.

Panel Discussion: Looking Back at 2012 

What were the biggest takeaways from the 2012 election? Pew’s Michael Caudell-Feagan moderated a panel featuring Carroll Doherty, the Associate Director of the Pew Research Center for the People & Press and Charles Stewart III, Professor of Political Science at MIT.

Carroll Doherty began his presentation at 2:08. Download PowerPoint.

Charles Stewart began his presentation at 15:16. Download PowerPoint.

Panel Discussion: E-lections: Technology, Social Media, and Election Administration 

The 2012 election could easily be coined the first “twitter election.” Doug Chapin, Director of the Program for Excellence in Election Administration at the University of Minnesota moderated a panel on the importance of social media and technology in this past election. Panelists included Google’s Ginny Hunt, Microsoft’s Kim Nelson, Facebook’s Adam Conner, and Twitter’s Mindy Finn.  

Panel Discussion: Long Lines and High Enthusiasm 

Long lines were one of the most talked about issues on Election Day. What caused them and what can we do to alleviate them? CQ Roll Call writer Eliza Newlin Carney moderated a lunch panel featuring Obama for America Field Director Jeremy Bird, Vlytics owner Scott Tranter, and Eric Marshall, Manager of Legal Mobilization, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Panel Discussion: Ensuring Integrity and Access: Voter ID in 2012 and Beyond 

How did voter ID laws impact the 2012 election? New York Times reporter Adam Liptak moderated a panel discussion on issues ranging from voter ID laws, voter fraud, and what this means for American voters. The panel featured Ohio Secretary of State John Husted, West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, and Indiana University Law Professor Michael J. Pitts.

Mike Pitts presented with a PowerPoint presentation at 17:21.

Panel Discussion: Does Voter Registration Need an Upgrade?

Panelists discuss how we can harness the power of technology to improve voter registration. The panel was moderated by Pew’s John Lindback and featured President of Rock the Vote Heather Smith, Virginia Secretary of Elections Don Palmer, and Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller.

Panel Discussion: Building a Baseline: The Election Performance Index and the Use of Data 

Pew’s Zach Markovits previews the election performance index tool to be released next year. The panel, moderated by Yale Law Professor Heather Gerken, focused on the importance of data in election administration. Panelists also included Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Professor Charles Stewart III, Michigan Elections Director Chris Thomas, and University of Texas Adjunct Professor and fellow Ray Martinez.

Panel Discussion: Outgoing Secretaries of State Carnahan and Reed: Unplugged 

Secretaries of State Robin Carnahan of Missouri and Sam Reed of Washington had a frank discussion of elections in their states. The panel was moderated by Pew’s David Becker.

Other powerpoint presentations given throughout the conference include:

  • Kevin Kennedy, Director and General Counsel, Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, discusses election costs in Wisconsin. Download PowerPoint.
  • Tammy Patrick, Federal Compliance Officer, Maricopa County, Arizona, gives an overview about cost savings related to online voter registration. Download PowerPoint.
  • Heather Smith, President, Rock the Vote, discusses lessons in online voter registration technologies. Download PowerPoint.

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