SMART Elections is an innovative, nonpartisan project. We serve U.S. voters, advocates, election officials and the general public.
We are transforming U.S. election by improving security, providing public oversight, and advocating for voting rights, accessibility, accuracy and transparency. We want the public to have full confidence in election results.
Problems with our elections have been festering for years, but are not well understood.
SMART Elections is building bridges with groups across the political and issue spectrum.
We teach advocates and non-partisan poll watchers best practices to protect and monitor elections, using publicly available data.
If security is not addressed - and votes are not counted accurately - then all other reforms are at risk.
The equipment that we vote on. Most voting machines in use in the United States currently use proprietary software and have often been shown to have serious security vulnerabilities in both their design and their execution.
Security experts recommend hand-marked paper ballots for voters who are able to mark by hand. For voters unable to mark by hand, or who prefer to use an assistive device, experts recommend ballot-marking devices that do not tabulate and have other secure design requirements. We advocate for these types of systems to be used in all jurisdictions.
We oppose these systems on the basis of security research by respected academics and experts:
The chain of custody of all ballots, voting systems, and equipment and media used to count votes must be guarded carefully by multiple parties at all times. These protocols need to be established with legislation and reinforced through education and best practices.
Strong public oversight, robust audits and public access to all documentation are needed to confirm that election results are correct and for the public to have confidence in them. These protocols need to be established with legislation and reinforced through education and best practices
The rules that govern our electoral process. This includes:
These rules control and influence many of the issues SMART Elections is working to improve.
Ms. Friesdat is a thought leader, documentary filmmaker and TEDx Speaker. She co-founded and runs two nonprofits to improve and raise confidence in U.S. elections, SMART Elections and the Action Partner: SMART Legislation. She's contributed to Emmy award-winning coverage at ABC News and produced election security investigations that rec
Ms. Friesdat is a thought leader, documentary filmmaker and TEDx Speaker. She co-founded and runs two nonprofits to improve and raise confidence in U.S. elections, SMART Elections and the Action Partner: SMART Legislation. She's contributed to Emmy award-winning coverage at ABC News and produced election security investigations that received over four million views. She's been both quoted and featured in The New York Times; and her journalism and advocacy work have been featured in The Washington Post, The Hill, Politico, Now This, Salon, MSN.com, the Young Turks, Truthout, City & State NY, NY Focus, The NY Daily News, Gothamist, The Post & Courier, 1010Wins, WBAI, and the Albany Times Union. She's had assignments with NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, CBS, Fox News Channel, and Nightline. Her first documentary "Holler Back - [not] Voting in an American Town" was featured in The Hollywood Reporter as part of a group of "thoughtful and provocative" films being made by women. Follow her on X/Twitter @LuluFriesdat
Mr. Smith serves on the Technical Advisory Team for SMART Elections. He was featured in a PBS News Hour segment on “What election officials think about paper ballots and voting machines.” He is best known for his proof of concept research examining election system vulnerabilities. It was covered by Bloomberg in its Cyber Security Segment
Mr. Smith serves on the Technical Advisory Team for SMART Elections. He was featured in a PBS News Hour segment on “What election officials think about paper ballots and voting machines.” He is best known for his proof of concept research examining election system vulnerabilities. It was covered by Bloomberg in its Cyber Security Segment and he was profiled in a cover story by Bloomberg Businessweek. He is currently a Tennessee Elections Commissioner, as well as a software developer who works in analytics and innovation.
Smith has developed expansive business and technical skills throughout his career. In government, as a liaison between elected officials and IT, Smith was a software developer maintaining City of Memphis applications for the Traffic Violations Bureau, Memphis Police and Internal Affairs.
He developed applications for lender auditing at First Tennessee Bank, and production metrics at International Paper. Follow him on X/Twitter @BennieJSmith
Distinguished Professor &
Director: Institute for Data Science at
Emeritus Computer Science Professor University of South Carolina
Distinguished Professor of Computing
Founder of True Texas Elections
Alameda County Elections Commissioner
Former Philadelphia Election Commissioner
Tennessee State Election Commissioner Former Shelby Co. Election Commissioner
Founding Board Member, Executive Director, Center for Common Ground
Attorney and Voting Rights Advocate;
Co-founder of Vote Early NY
Former Election Commissioner
Columbia Co, New York
Principal Political Analyst
Nonprofit Management Coordinator
Journalist & Technology consultant
Co-founder of SMART Elections &
Co-founder of SMART Elections &
Advisory Team Members come from a variety of backgrounds and represent a diverse collection of viewpoints. Their membership does not represent an endorsement of the information offered by this organization. Nor does this project endorse any specific action or opinion of the advisory team members. We have come together with the belief that by attempting to listen and understand each others’ perspectives we can collectively work more effectively toward a goal that we all cherish – a more fair and effective democracy.
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