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Recently, we offered two “takes” on the Center for American Progress’s (CAP) Briefing, “9 Solutions to Secure America's Elections." First, our COO, Gregory Miller reflected on a couple of larger issues in addition to largely agreeing in principle with the spirit of the post. Then our Elections Infrastructure Analyst, Sergio Valente reiterated specific points of agreement at a short term tactical level, and clarified our differences in terms of a longer-term strategic view based on principles of national security, homeland security, and critical infrastructure protection.

Last evening, and this morning, OSET Institute’s CTO, John Sebes has gone further and in far more detail, as we’d expect our CTO to do. His two-part postings appear on the TrustTheVote Project site’s blog; first a post on aligning recommendations with current efforts, and the second post about what he calls “gradualism” —an inadequate and risky mindset.

In compressed summary, here’s John’s two-pronged approach:

  1. On the tactical front, Sebes takes exception to what arguably could be construed as a lack of regard for election officials’ efforts and the preexisting work on clarifying and securing election infrastructure.
  2. Meanwhile, on the strategic axis, John observes a lack of logical follow-through by the Briefing’s authors, who seem to be advocating a policy limited to gradual improvements of our existing election infrastructure. While we can’t believe they actually intended that, it’s an interpretation others might mistakenly adopt.

John’s comments across these two posts complete the Institute’s views on the good work of the Center for American Progress.  You may wonder why we spent 4 blog posts reviewing and discussing the CAP Briefing.  Here’s briefly why…

This (CAP Briefing) is the kind of substantive consideration and conversation America (e.g., election officials, U.S. security officials, policy strategists, policy makers, and other stakeholders) needs to be having right now. It surely ranks up there with the Brennan Center’s most recent Briefing on election security and articles another think-tank on the other side of the political spectrum (the Heritage Foundation) has produced.  The issue is that election technology integrity is now a matter of national security, when you consider that disrupting U.S. elections is interfering with American sovereignty. Disrupting (or worse) elections is not an act of war per-se, but its damn close in our humble opinion.  So, that patriotic conversation needs to happen by including all stakeholders and thought-leaders, partisanship and politics aside.  Any set of recommendations deserves fair, intellectually honest, and open consideration and debate.  Given that we are now witnessing bipartisan interest in this topic throughout Congress and the Administration, this material definitely qualifies.  We’re just one collective voice from the technical community, and it was worth 4 posts to speak our mind.  Who’s next?  Comments encouraged!

-Ms. Voting Matters

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