3/31/23: Ballots, Bytes, and Barriers: Securing the 2024 Election against Threats Digital and Destructive
Conducting a modern election is a complex operation. As concerns about foreign interference, home grown threats, and digital tampering swirl, citizens' confidence across the political spectrum is shaken. In a decentralized environment with constrained funding and a limited federal role, how can the United States ensure the security of its elections? The 2023 Election Law Symposium assembles a panel of experts from the Brennan Center for Justice, Election Assistance Commission, and Microsoft to assess the current challenges we face, our preparedness to address them, how states should best allocate limited resources, and why—despite these hurdles—Americans should feel confident going into 2024. Wine and cheese reception to follow!
3/21/23: FEC Chair Dara Lindenbaum
President Biden nominated Chair Lindenbaum to serve on the Commission in February 2022. The U.S. Senate confirmed Chair Lindenbaum in May 2022, and she has served as Chair of the Commission since the start of this year. Prior to joining the FEC, Commissioner Lindenbaum was a partner at Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock, where she advised candidates, political committees, and organizations on a wide range of laws and regulations, including complying with state and federal campaign finance and election laws. She also served as general counsel for Stacey Abrams’ gubernatorial campaign in 2018 and as legal counsel for Fair Fight Action in 2020.
3/3/23: Jason Torchinsky
Jason Torchinsky is partner at Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak. Prof. Torchinsky is a double William & Mary alum, having earned his B.A. in 1998 and his J.D. in 2001. He specializes in campaign finance, election law, lobbying disclosure and issue advocacy groups. Prof. Torchinsky has also served as lead counsel in a number of litigation matters dealing with First Amendment freedoms and election law and redistricting issues. Prior to joining Holtzman Vogel, he served as Deputy General Counsel to the Bush/Cheney presidential campaign in 2004, Deputy General Counsel to the 2005 Presidential Inaugural Committee, and Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the United States Department of Justice. He is also an adjunct professor here at the law school where he teaches popular election law courses.
2/20/23: Ben Ginsburg
Ben Ginsberg was partner at Jones Day (ret.) and is currently co-chair of the Election Official Legal Defense Network (EOLDN). EOLDN connects pro bono attorneys with election administrators who need legal advice and assistance. Mr. Ginsberg is a prominent Republican election lawyer who played a central role during the Bush v. Gore recount in 2000 and served as general counsel to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. Mr. Ginsberg’s talk will focus on EOLDN’s important work helping ensure election officials are able to run elections free of harassment and threats.
11/14/22: Jessica Amunson
Jessica Amunson is chair of the Election Law and Redistricting Practice and co-chair of the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice at Jenner & Block. Ms. Amunson has litigated numerous voting rights, redistricting, and campaign finance cases before the Supreme Court, the Federal Election Commission, and courts nationwide. Jenner & Block represents the North Carolina League of Conservation in Moore v. Harper, a case before the Supreme Court centering on the independent state legislature theory. Her discussion will focus on the Supreme Court and election law.
11/1/22: Prof. Stacey Kern-Scheerer
Professor Kern-Scheerer is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law here at William & Mary and the founding Director of the Immigration Clinic. Prof. Kern-Scheerer has received numerous teaching awards at William & Mary including the McGlothlin Faculty Teaching Award and the Walter Williams Teaching Award which two graduating classes conferred in 2017 and 2021. Before coming to William & Mary, Professor-Kern Scheerer spent 10 years working as a nonpartisan lawyer in the U.S. Senate. Notable for our purposes today, Professor Kern-Scheerer is a candidate for Williamsburg City Council.
10/27/22: Brian Cannon
Brian is a longtime democracy reformer with over a decade of non-profit leadership, community building, and advocacy for state policy issues. Before becoming Director of Advocacy at FairVote, Brian notably led Virginia’s bipartisan redistricting reform effort as Executive Director of OneVirginia2021 for six years - an effort that successfully amended the state constitution to end partisan gerrymandering.
As the head of OneVirginia2021, Brian grew the organization’s supporter list from a few thousand to over 100,000, with local action groups of dedicated volunteers in every corner of the Commonwealth. This growth fueled the legislative strategy that passed significant and complex reform through the Virginia legislature under Republican and then Democratic control.
Brian is a double William & Mary graduate – earning his B.A. in 2004 and his J.D. in 2011. In law school, he gave up his spring break one year to compete in the 2011 redistricting competition sponsored by the Christopher Newport University Wasson Center, where he created a winning map that got introduced at the General Assembly. And last but not least, Brian was a co-president of ELS while at William & Mary.
10/6/22: FEC Chair Allen Dickerson
Allen Dickerson was nominated to the Federal Election Commission by President Donald J. Trump on September 16, 2020, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 9, 2020.
Prior to his appointment, Dickerson was Legal Director of the Institute for Free Speech (IFS), where he led a nationwide litigation practice. He has appeared before numerous state and federal courts, argued more than a dozen appeals, and participated as counsel for parties or amici curiae in many of the most significant First Amendment cases of the last decade. While at IFS, he testified regularly before Congress, state legislatures, and regulatory agencies, and was a frequent speaker on campaign finance and political regulation topics. Earlier in his career, he was an associate with Kirkland & Ellis LLP in New York and an attorney for the Republican Governors Association.
Commissioner Dickerson received his undergraduate education at Yale College and his law degree from New York University School of Law. In addition to his work with the Commission, he serves as a captain in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Army Reserve.