Civic Action

Don’t Panic: Election Security 2020

October 23, 2020  • Aspen Insight

2020 is a unique election year. To help understand the nuances of ballot security, foreign threats, and the election overall, Amina Akhtar spoke to cybersecurity expert Betsy Cooper of the Aspen Tech Policy Hub. 

“The idea that the election will be contested is not the same thing as saying that there will be a crisis of democracy and that we will end up with an illegitimate situation,” said Cooper. Misinformation is a reality this year, but Cooper cautioned voters to stay calm particularly as they consume information online. 

In addition, foreign election interference is more complex due to technology. “Sometimes it’s not clear that [foreign governments] are actively seeking a particular outcome so much as they are seeking to thread chaos throughout the process,” says Cooper. Without knowing that end goal, it is harder for US officials to combat it. 

Ultimately, though, Cooper encourages voters to be as even-keeled as possible during this unusual election. “If we all stay calm about that, then we can have open and honest conversations about any problems that do arise,” she said.

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