Securing Elections: Foreign Meddling, Fake News, and Political Violence

Securing Elections: Foreign Meddling, Fake News, and Political Violence

Date: Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Location: Crystal City, Virginia (20 minutes from downtown Washington DC)

Co-Chairs: Holly Ann Garnett (Royal Military College of Canada) & Charles Stewart II (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Sponsored by: MIT Election Data and Science Lab (MEDSL), International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Electoral Integrity Project (EIP), & Electoral Management Network (EMN)

Conference Theme:  

Elections come under threat from a variety of fronts, be that foreign interference or cyber-attacks, violent conflicts stemming from electoral events, or targeted attacks against politicians in person or online. The examples of these scenarios are widespread, from elections being postponed in Haiti and Nigeria due to violence, to cases of foreign meddling in American elections and Baltic states. Security is a key challenge to electoral integrity and it is of vital interest to academics, policymakers, security forces, and electoral officials alike.

This workshop will consider how can elections be protected from the variety of security threats that emerge during the electoral cycle. This workshop welcomes paper proposals on questions including (but not limited to):

  • How can the peaceful and secure environments necessary for free and fair elections be created?
  • What new security threats have emerged to electoral officials from the rise of information technologies?
  • How successfully have legacy and social media platforms sought to counter fake news?
  • How are politicians, be they candidates, voters or party officials, threatened at various stages of the electoral cycle? Who are the targets? Who are the perpetrators?
  • When and how is election violence most likely to emerge? How can such conflicts be resolved?
  • How do domestic and foreign monitoring and observation protect or spark electoral conflict?
  • Have perceived security threats undermined public confidence and trust in the electoral process?

Proposals are due March 27, 2018. For more details, and to submit a proposal, visit:


Submissions Deadline March 27, 2019
Notification of Acceptances April 10, 2019
Registration Deadline (Presenters) April 24, 2019
Registration Deadline (Non-Presenters) August 7, 2019
Papers due (for presenters) August 14, 2019


Preliminary Agenda:

8:30– 9:00 Registration and Coffee
9:00 – 9:10 Welcome
9:15– 10:45 Concurrent Panels
10:45 – 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00– 12:45 Concurrent Panels
12:45 – 1:45 Lunch
1:45 – 3:15 Concurrent Panels
3:15 – 3:30 Coffee Break
3:30 – 5:00 Practitioner Roundtable