Preparing for the 2024 Elections

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Certificate in Election Administration
Humphrey School of Public Affairs

130 Humphrey School
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

The hotly contested 2024 elections are a mere six months away with election administrators under the microscope more than ever. In this intense environment, what can and should local election officials be doing now to prepare for the fall elections? Join us for the third annual Certificate in Election Administration (CEA) conference as featured experts explore available resources, innovative vote centers, and other practical steps election officials can take to ensure a safe, accessible, and secure election this fall.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Quick, Inexpensive Ways to Improve Your 2024 General Election

  • Tommy Gong, Chief Deputy County Clerk-Recorder, Contra Costa County, California
  • Michael Siegrist, Township Clerk, Canton, Michigan 
  • Maysa Sitar, Voter Accessibility Administrator, Denver Elections Division, Colorado
  • Moderator: Judd Choate, Director of Elections, Colorado Department of State 

Sports Franchises and Elections Administrators: Partnering to Create Polling Place Access

  • Scott Pioli, Former NFL Executive and current NFL Analyst & Consultant
  • Moderator: Tova Wang, Senior Researcher in Democratic Practice, Harvard Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation 

Financial Support Available to Election Administrators for 2024

  • Cait Conley, Senior Advisor to the Director, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
  • Ben Hovland, Chairman, Election Assistance Commission
  • Sam Oliker-Friedland, Executive Director, Institute for Responsive Government 
  • Moderator: Judd Choate, Director of Elections, Colorado Department of State

You can view our presenters' slides here.


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Judd Choate

Headshot of Judd Choate

Judd Choate is the Director of Elections for the Colorado Department of State and the Faculty Director for the Certificate in Election Administration program. Judd was the president of the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) in 2017 and served on the Executive Committee of the Government Coordinating Council (GCC) created by the Department of Homeland Security when elections was designated critical infrastructure. Judd was formerly was a professor of political science at the University of Nebraska and author of a book and several peer-reviewed articles on political behavior.

Cait Conley

Cait Conley

Cait Conley is the Senior Advisor to the Director at the Cyber Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a role that includes responsibilities supporting CISA’s election security efforts. Conley leads CISA’s work in partnering with state and local election officials to manage and reduce risk to the Nation’s election infrastructure. Conley previously served as the Executive Director of the bipartisan Defending Digital Democracy Project, based out of Harvard University’s Belfer Center. As Executive Director, she led the development and implementation of strategies, tools and recommendations for election administrators, election infrastructure providers, campaign organizations and leaders involved in democratic processes to better defend against cybersecurity threats. 

Tommy Gong

Headshot of Tommy Gong

Tommy Gong is the Deputy County Clerk-Recorder for Contra Costa County, CA. Completing his 21st year in election administration, Tommy previously served as the elected County Clerk-Recorder for San Luis Obispo County and started his career in Stanislaus County. Tommy is a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Task Force on Elections, a member of the Election Workforce Advisory Council led by the Bipartisan Policy Center and The Elections Group, and a Board of Director for the California Voter Foundation. Tommy led the effort to form the Coalition of Bay Area Election Officials for neighboring counties to join forces and collaborate on building public trust in elections in shared media markets. The Coalition earned the prestigious Democracy Award for best practice of 2022 by the National Association of Elections Officials – The Election Center.

Benjamin Hovland

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Benjamin Hovland is a Commissioner on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Mr. Hovland currently serves as Chairman of the EAC and the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) for the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC). Hovland’s career in elections spans over 20 years and includes service as Acting Chief Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, where he was a driving force behind Congress appropriating $380 million in Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds to enhance election security to the states in 2018. Earlier in his career, as the Deputy General Counsel for the Missouri Secretary of State’s office, he focused on legal issues related to the administration of state and federal elections, including recounts, poll worker training, voter registration list maintenance, statewide database matching, voter education resources and ballot initiative litigation. 

Sam Oliker-Friedland

Headshot of Sam Oliker-Friedland

Sam Oliker-Friedland is the Executive Director of the Institute for Responsive Government. Previously, he was a voting rights litigator at the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division under both the Obama and Trump administrations. Prior to that, he worked on election administration law and data in the nonprofit sector.

Scott Pioli

Headshot of Scott Pioli

Scott Pioli is a highly accomplished figure in the NFL, with a career spanning over 30 years including the executive positions of General Manager, Assistant General Manager, and Vice President for teams including New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, and Atlanta Falcons. Currently, Pioli serves as an on-air analyst for NFL Network and CBS Sports. In addition, he provides consultancy services to various companies, including the NFL League Office, where he focuses on Football Ops, NFL International, and DEI. In addition to his DEI work, Pioli contributes to the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) as a board member and co-founder of RISE to Vote, actively promoting civic engagement.

Michael Siegrist

Headshot of Michael Siegrist

Michael Siegrist has been the Canton Clerk since 2016 and is currently Third-Vice President of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks and President of the Association of Wayne County Clerks. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan. He earned a Master's of Science in Taxation from Walsh College of Accountancy and Business. As clerk Michael has been certified by the MAMC and the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, and earned a Certificate in Election Administration from the Humphry School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and currently serves on the advisory board for the program as a graduate.

Maysa Sitar

Headshot of Maysa Sitar

Maysa Sitar is the Voter Accessibility Administrator at the Denver Elections Division. In 2023, she and her team developed and implemented in-person voting for voters in jail during three separate elections. In addition to running the county’s program for voters in jail, she also oversees services for voters with disabilities, overseas civilians, military voters, and voters in health care facilities. Maysa has spent her career working in elections from research, advocacy, and administrative roles.

Tova Wang

Headshot of Tova Wang

Tova Wang is a Senior Researcher in Democratic Practice at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. She was most recently Director of Policy and Research at the Center for Secure and Modern Elections, where she worked on voter registration reform and oversaw and conducted research on how to develop transformative strategies for increasing political participation among marginalized groups. She’s been working on improving democracy since the 2000 presidential election, including several years as a Senior Democracy Fellow at Demos. Tova has focused on issues related to greater political inclusion in the United States, including major studies on increasing voter participation rates among low-income people, communities of color, naturalized immigrants, women, and Native Americans.

Lea Chittenden

Headshot of Lea Chittenden

Lea Chittenden is the Administrative Director for the Certificate in Election Administration (CEA) program. Involved since the inception of the CEA, she has been integral to the growth and development of the program. She is also the Associate Director for the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs where she oversees public events, and provides fiscal and operational management for the Center.

Larry Jacobs

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Professor Larry Jacobs is McKnight Presidential Chair, Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies, and founder and director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Dr. Jacobs has published 17 books and edited volumes and over 100 articles on elections, legislative and presidential politics, elections and public opinion, and health policy. He has also published in mainstream outlets including New York Times, Washington Post, Star Tribune, and more. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.