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Election Security: Lessons Learned from 2020

The 2020 elections drew record turnout with over 157 million Americans casting a ballot. Despite concerns regarding COVID-19 and foreign interference, election officials from federal agencies with oversight over election security, national organizations, nonprofits, and vendors described the election as “the most secure in American history.” In a panel discussion, experts in election security discussed what went right to make the election such a success and what challenges remain. To break down what we saw before, during, and after Election Day, experts covered the record-breaking turnout, conducting elections during a pandemic, voting by mail, in-person voting, audits, misinformation, access to the ballot, and cybersecurity.


Juan Gilbert, University of Florida, Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor of Computer and Information Science & Engineering

Liz Howard, Brennan Center for Justice, Senior Counsel for Democracy

Nate Persily, Stanford University, James B. McClatchy Professor of Law

Charles Stewart III, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science


Michael McRobbie, Indiana University, President and Co-chair of the 2018 NASEM report, Securing the Vote.


Introduced by Anne-Marie Mazza, Senior Director, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and Steve Newell, Project Director, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Additional Resources

Cal Tech/MIT Voting Technology Project

MIT Election Data and Science Lab

Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2018 Consensus Study Report

           Full Report

           Highlights of the report

Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project

The Brennan Center for Justice: Election Security

Event Contact

Erin Saybolt

Program Assistant, AAAS Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues

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