Last week, I was one of the co-chairs (with Holly Ann Garnett) of the conference on ‘“Building Better Elections: New Challenges in Electoral Management’, held at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) in Boston, USA, last week.

The workshop considered how elections could be better run during times when electoral officials face major new challenges such as cybersecurity and resource constraint, and when voting practices are often not as inclusive as they could be.

It was held in collaboration with MIT Election Lab, the Electoral Integrity Project of Sydney/Harvard University and the Royal Military College of Canada.

More than 100 delegates from around the world, with representatives from academia, the international and national practitioner community and industry, attended.

In an age where electoral results have become more unpredictable, running elections that have the confidence of the public and electoral community could never be more important.

A roundtable seminar included representatives from the Department of Homeland Security and state electoral officials, who reflected on the challenges of cyber-security which followed after the 2016 Presidential election.

With Holly, Leontine and Carolien, we launched the Electoral Management Research Network last year to bring together scholars and practitioners, with the aim of making the latest scientific research, policy advice and news about running elections accessible for practitioners, researchers and students.

Selected papers from the conference are available on the network’s website, and blogs from delegates who presented papers will be added next week.

Watch out for the journal special issues that will be on their way out next year!

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