The Business Case for Secure & Accurate Elections: A Timely Conversation for Business Leaders
March 15, 2019
Elections are the cornerstone of our republic. Much like roads, the electric grid, and airports, our election systems are critical infrastructure. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania’s current election systems are outdated and rely on undependable 15-to-20-year-old equipment. In 2017, PA was notified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that Russian hackers had tried to penetrate its voter registration systems. In 2018, more than 80% of Pennsylvanians voted on machines that provide no way to audit and verify the vote count.
A lack of confidence in the state’s capacity to safeguard elections can undermine trust in government, reduce voter turnout, and is ultimately harmful to Pennsylvania’s business climate and economy. The effectiveness of our representative democracy depends on secure and accessible elections. Without them, Pennsylvania economic reputation and competitiveness may suffer. Voting, like buying a product in a competitive market, is a validation of how well the system works.
• Jonathan Marks, Deputy Secretary for Elections & Commissions, Pennsylvania Department of State
• Kevin J. Boyle, Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Chair of the State Government Committee
• Ron Bandes, President, VoteAllegheny
• Susan Carty, President, PA League of Women Voters and member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Pennsylvania’s Election Security
• Sarah Bonk, Founder & CEO, Business for America
The state legislature, counties, and governor are now working on a plan to secure the funding needed to buy new equipment for all 67 counties. Governor Wolf’s executive order requires all counties to have new equipment with voter-verifiable paper records in place before the 2020 presidential election. State legislators are grappling with how to come up with the revenue.
Join us on March 27th to learn about:
• The current debate in Harrisburg about funding new election machines
• Steps the state is taking to reduce election vulnerabilities
• Role that the business community can take to support election reforms
For the business community, election integrity is more than a matter of principle — it’s an urgent economic priority.