VotingWorks partners with the Center for Democracy and Technology

Ben Adida — December 5, 2018

Our mission at VotingWorks is to build citizen trust in elections. We believe the right way to achieve that mission is as a non-profit, because the operating system of democracy should be publicly owned.

Today, we’re excited to announce that the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) has agreed to become our host organization while we apply for our standalone non-profit status – check out their announcement. This means VotingWorks is collaborating closely with the CDT’s experienced team to ramp up operations and begin in earnest the development of affordable, secure, open-source voting machines for use in US public elections. It also means that VotingWorks can now accept tax-deductible donations by way of CDT.

The Center for Democracy & Technology is the ideal partner for us. They’ve been instrumental to most critical technology policy debates for the last 25 years. They’ve elevated the discussion around privacy and personal data control, security and surveillance, free speech online, and, of course, election security. They’ve done so in a uniquely non-partisan way, because democracy is non-partisan. We’re humbled and proud to be working with them.

When it comes to strengthening our elections, CDT really shines. CDT goes beyond advocacy: they help in very concrete ways, in particular by training election officials across the country to defend against new threats. They’ve also successfully advocated for the widespread use of paper ballots and risk-limiting audits. We share this vision of election security at VotingWorks.

Finally, a personal touch. Joseph Lorenzo Hall, CDT’s Chief Technologist, is a long-time collaborator from back when he and I were both graduate students working on election security on opposite coasts. Joseph’s dedication to socially responsible technology is unparalleled. He’s been on the ground making a difference in how we run our elections, from improving the state of the art in auditing procedures to working directly with poll workers. He’s helped out on countless independent voting system evaluations across the nation. He’s someone I deeply admire and respect.

To make this collaboration concrete, Joseph will be joining VotingWorks’s Board of Advisors. I’ve been looking for an opportunity to work more closely with him, and I’m excited to have his invaluable guidance on a topic that is near and dear to both our hearts.