“Elections Brain Drain”

The [North] Carolina Public Press has a really important three-part series on funding for election official positions. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

And there’s a timely related story from [South] Carolina as well.

Turns out that low pay makes it harder to retain talent, which is a lesson that stretches well beyond the Carolinas.

If we treated election infrastructure like infrastructure, that’d include human resources too. 

Instead, we’re heading the other direction.  The President’s FY 2025 budget includes $ 5 billion in election security grants, $ 96 million in election innovation grants, and $ 38 million to keep the lights on at the EAC.  The markup from the relevant House subcommittee ignores the first two categories entirely and cuts the EAC appropriation in half. 

The full House Appropriations committee markup is Thursday.  The chairman has requested that “Members be prompt,” and I’m also hoping that Members be mindful that the system that put them in their chairs needs basic maintenance to keep working.

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“2020’s ‘fake elector’ schemes will be harder to try in 2024 – but not impossible”

Derek Muller, for The Conversation, recounts some of the ways that both the law and enforcement have changed in the last four years.

Speaking of which, Wisconsin Public Radio reports that an attorney charged last week in the Wisconsin false-elector scheme has been temporarily suspended from a panel advising state judges on ethics.

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“AI can make our elections safer—if we use it correctly”

Chris McIsaac offers a valuable in-depth look at AI in elections over at R Street.  I’m really looking forward to digging in.

From the executive summary:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already having an impact on upcoming U.S. elections and other political races around the globe. Much of the public dialogue focuses on AI’s ability to generate and distribute false information, and government officials are responding by proposing rules and regulations aimed at limiting the technology’s potentially negative effects. However, questions remain regarding the constitutionality of these laws, their effectiveness at limiting the impact of election disinformation, and the opportunities the use of AI presents, such as bolstering cybersecurity and improving the efficiency of election administration. While Americans are largely in favor of the government taking action around AI, there is no guarantee that restrictions will curb potential threats.

This paper explores AI impacts on the election information environment, cybersecurity, and election administration to define and assess risks and opportunities. It also evaluates the government’s AI-oriented policy responses to date and assesses the effectiveness of primarily focusing on regulating the use of AI in campaign communications through prohibitions or disclosures. It concludes by offering alternative approaches to increased government-imposed limits, which could empower local election officials to focus on strengthening cyber defenses, build trust with the public as a credible source of election information, and educate voters on the risk of AI-generated disinformation and how to recognize it.

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