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Overseas Vote Foundation Convenes 2013 Summit Today

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[Image courtesy of overseasvotefoundation]

The Overseas Vote Foundation is hosting its seventh annual summit today at George Washington University's Jack Morton Auditorium in Washington, DC.

As usual, OVF has gathered a fantastic collection of speakers and panelists to discuss the issues of absentee balloting - and this year, will "expand the conversation" to include domestic voting issues consistent with OVF's creation of the U.S. Vote Foundation.

You can view the proceedings live here - the highlights of the agenda from OVF's website:

9:00 a.m. - Opening Keynote Presentation: Forces of Change in the Electoral Equation John C. Fortier, Director of The Democracy Project, Bipartisan Policy Center

Election 2012 marks a turning point in the broadening awareness and use of absentee balloting and its multitude of implications. Dr. John C. Fortier will address the forces of change in the electoral equation for absentee and early voting, from available technology to efforts to suppress voting or enforce new requirements. He will provide post election reflection and assessment of the role of 2012 absentee balloting and its influence on the election outcomes. Dr. Fortier will outline his vision for how to effectively use absentee balloting to broaden access to the franchise, while maintaining the integrity of the election - a complex challenge that we all face.


9:30 a.m. - Featured Session: 2012 Post Election Research Results
Dr. Claire Smith, Director of Research, Overseas and U.S. Vote Foundation
Highlights of the 2012 Post Election Overseas Voter Survey Research Report: Dr. Smith will premier new, as-yet-unpublished findings of the landmark OVF post election survey. This survey launch will interpret questions including: What impact did email ballot delivery have on ballot return rates? What are the real effects of the MOVE Act on UOCAVA voters?

Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, President and CEO, Overseas and U.S. Vote Foundation
Highlights of our first Post Election Domestic Absentee Voter Survey Research: Don't miss the release of U.S. Vote's first post election survey, answering post-election questions including: How did the voters fare? How do the issues of ballot delivery and return compare to those faced by overseas and military voters? Do domestic absentee voters share common issues with their overseas counterparts?

10:45 a.m. - Session One Keynote: Absentee Balloting - A State Perspective
The Honorable Mark Ritchie, Minnesota Secretary of State

We look forward to the view of long-standing Minnesota Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, who will provide a unique perspective of absentee balloting its evolution through 2012. Is the state side of the equation different? What challenges did states face with the onslaught of dramatically increased volumes of absentee balloting requests? Is there a threat to election integrity? What can one say about the volumes of undelivered and rejected ballots and how this may affect election outcomes? For an insightful view from a chief state election official, this keynote is a must for today's election aficionado.

11:10 a.m. - Session One Roundtable -
On the Front Lines of Absentee Balloting

Both local and state election officials will come together in this spirited roundtable to discuss the magnitude of what they faced in terms of absentee balloting challenges in this recent election. What happens when so many voters shift from one balloting method to another? Is the trend toward absentee balloting expected to continue? If so, what can we do to maximize absentee balloting returns and minimize its vulnerabilities.

Roundtable Host and Moderator:
Judith Murray, Research Program, Overseas and U.S. Vote Foundation
Roundtable Participants:


  • - Julie Flynn, Deputy Secretary of State, Maine

  • - Gary Smith, Program Evaluation Manager, Elections and Registrations, Fulton County, Georgia

  • - David Stafford, Supervisor of Elections, Escambia County, Florida

  • - Steve Trout, Oregon State Elections Director

  • - Maggie Toulouse Oliver, County Clerk, Bernalillo County, New Mexico


12:45 p.m. - Featured Opening Afternoon Keynote: Open Data and Election Innovation
Donna Roy, Executive Director, National Information Exchange Model
Executive Director, Information Sharing Environment Office, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Department of Homeland Security

The open data keynote will explore a vision of data as a liberator of democracy. We will welcome a renowned expert with a fresh vision for moving our voting and electoral processes forward. The need for ongoing innovation in electoral technology, new investment and real competition are issues of greatest importance to the development of better electoral solutions to meet our country's voting challenges.

1:10 p.m. - Session Two Roundtable: How Common Data Format will Change the Structure of the Voting Industry

The open data roundtable will bring together experts in this growing field. Hard questions about our voting and electoral processes can be transformed - will be answered. The possibilities of innovation in electoral technology will be examined and debated in detail.

Roundtable Host and Moderator:
David Webber, Information Architect, ORACLE, and NIEM Technical Architecture Committee (NIEM NTAC) Member

Roundtable Participants:


  • - Duncan A. Buell, Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of South Carolina

  • - Gregory Miller, Co-Executive Director & Chief Development Officer, OSDV Foundation and TrustTheVote Project

  • - Tim Bixler, Federal Manager, Solutions Architecture, Amazon Web Services

  • - John Wack, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and IEEE 1622 Standard Committee

2:00 p.m. - Featured Keynote: The Battlefront Meets the Ballot
The Honorable Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky Secretary of State

The military voting keynote brings forward a speaker who has seen first-hand the specific problems our military voters face in the UOCAVA voting process. This post election assessment of one state's successes and failures of 2012 military balloting, and future solutions that all states can consider will be of keen interest to this audience.

2:25 p.m. - Session Three Roundtable: MOVE and the Military
A hard look will be taken by this diverse roundtable of experts on the state of military voting in 2012 as the first year that Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act compliance was fully underway in all states since its 2009 introduction. Has MOVE introduced improvements that ultimately add up in terms of increased participation, ballots received and ballots counted? Have new, unforeseen challenges emerged, and what is to be done about those? How do we rate the cumulative effect of the MOVE Act on military voters? These and other key questions will be explored in this crucial roundtable.

Roundtable Host and Moderator:
Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, President and CEO, Overseas Vote Foundation and U.S. Vote Foundation

Roundtable Participants:


  • - Laura Dietz, NGO Voting Assistance, Camp Pendelton

  • - Dr. Donald S. Inbody, Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Texas State University

  • - Eric Eversole, President, Military Voter Protection Project

  • - David Beirne, Acting Deputy Director, Technology Programs, Federal Voting Assistance Program

  • - Paul Herrnson, Professor of Government and Politics, Director of the Center for American Politics, University of Maryland



3:45 p.m. - Upgrading Voter Registration
John Lindback, Senior Officer, Election Initiatives, The Pew Charitable Trusts

How pioneering states are making voter registration more accurate, more cost-effective, and more efficient. Using tools such as online voter registration, automated motor voter, and a unique new data center called the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), several states are innovating to make their voter lists more complete and more up-to-date.

4:15 p.m. - Featured Keynote: The Effect of Policy on the Youth Vote
Peter Levine, Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Director of CIRCLE: the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement; Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Tufts University

How do governments support or frustrate young voters? Is there a link between voting laws, education policy, and actual youth civic engagement? This keynote will assess the influence of the youth vote in the 2012 election and take on the greater questions regarding how we can affect the trends.


4:45 p.m. - Special View: Graduating a Greater Voting Class

Matt Segal, Founder and CEO, OUR TIME
As the de facto representative of young Americans fighting for an equal civic playing field, there is no one better to discuss what motivates young US voters to register and actually show up at the polls to make their voice heard than Matthew Segal. He will offer valuable insight into the challenges of election 2012 for young voters and how to transform the future of youth voting.

5:15 p.m. - Session Four: Vignettes: "We Have to Fix That."
A line up of election leaders and outreach innovators will discuss ways to lessen lines at the polls and improve access to the ballot.


  • - Barbara Arnwine, President & Executive Director, The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

  • - Carlos Alcazar, President & CEO, Hispanic Communications Network

  • - Larry Norden, Deputy Director, Democracy Program, Brennan Center for Justice

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