Technology Empowering U.S. Diplomacy and Development

From Paper Ballot to Bits and Bytes: Electronic Voting Technologies

From Paper Ballot to Bits and Bytes: Electronic Voting Technologies


Michael McNulty (Moderator) - National Democratic Institute

Michael McNulty is a senior program manager for the National Democratic Institute’s (NDI’s) Elections and Political Processes team in Washington DC. Michael has more than 11 years of experience managing and providing technical assistance on election-related and broader civic participation programs on four continents (Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America) on organizational development, civic advocacy, election reform and election observation. Before joining the Elections team, he served as resident program manager in NDI’s Ukraine office, managing the Institute’s civil society and election programs there. Before his assignment in Ukraine, Michael was the Washington DC-based manager of NDI’s programs in Central Asia and Turkey. He also has experience in international election observation, including missions with NDI and OSCE/ODIHR observation missions.  Before joining NDI in 2005, Michael worked for a decentralization program in Peru with Associates in Rural Development, helped launch a small civil society program in Afghanistan, conducted conflict-related research, and managed a range of international development programs for Chemonics International.

Michael earned his Master’s Degree in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, and his Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies and English from Ohio State University. Michael also has volunteered in the U.S. on election campaigns and with civic organizations.



Michael Alvarez - Caltech/MIT Voter Technology Project

R. Michael Alvarez received his B.A. from Carleton College, and his Ph.D. from Duke University, both in political science.  He has taught at the California Institute of Technology his entire career, focusing on elections, voting behavior, election technology, and research methodologies.  He has written or edited a number of books (most recently, Evaluating Elections:  A Handbook of Methods and Standards) and scores of academic articles and reports. 

He has studied elections throughout the world, including recent research in Argentina and Estonia, and has worked closely with public officials in many locations to improve their elections.   Much of his recent work has examined the use of new technologies to improve the accuracy and accessibility of the electoral process.   Alvarez is one of the few researchers in the world who has examined in detail both the problems facing many voters with special needs, and how new technologies can help mitigate those problems.  Examples of this research are his 2004 book on Internet voting (Point, Click and Vote) and his more recent 2008 study of electronic voting (Electronic Elections).

Alvarez’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts and JEHT Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the John Irvine Foundation.   He was named to the Scientific American 50 in 2004 for his research on voting technologies.  Alvarez is a Fellow of the Society for Political Methodology, co-editor of the journal Political Analysis, and co-director of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project.


Doug Chapin - The Humphrey School of Public Policy & Affairs at the Universit...

Doug Chapin is working to develop and expand CSPG's Election Academy by creating projects and programs to deliver high-quality research and learning opportunities to the election administrators of today - and tomorrow. This will include courses, seminars and other materials in many different aspects of election administration and will be aimed at all different facets of the election community. The Project is online at Chapin comes to the Humphrey School after 10 years at The Pew Charitable Trusts, where he served as director of Election Initiatives for the Pew Center on the States. Under his leadership, Pew’s elections team successfully lobbied for enactment of military and overseas voting reform in Congress and state legislatures; enlisted dozens of states and technology partners like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook to provide official voting information online and via mobile technology; and worked with election officials, academics, and technical experts to design and implement efforts to upgrade the nation’s voter registration systems. Prior to serving at Pew, Chapin was an attorney in private practice specializing in election and ethics law. He served as elections counsel to the Democrats on the U.S. Senate Rules Committee from 1997 to 2000, where he focused on federal election legislation and participated in the review of the disputed 1996 Senate election in Louisiana. He holds a law degree from Georgetown University, a master of public administration degree from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and an A.B. in politics from Princeton University.


Ben Goldsmith - International Foundation for Electoral Systems

Ben Goldsmith is a senior electoral advisor with 15 years experience advising and managing election administration projects in post conflict and developing democracies.

These electoral roles have been conducted with and on behalf of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations and International Non-Governmental Organisations such as IFES and The Asia Foundation. Mr. Goldsmith has extensive experience in a number of different regions, including Europe, South Asia and the Middle East, and has managed projects in over 30 countries.

Mr. Goldsmith is currently the Country Director of IFES Kosovo managing the implementation of an electoral assistance program in support of Central Election Commission of Kosovo and Kosovar civil society.


Dan Nolan - Scytl

After a distinguished 26 years career in the Army, Dan Nolan continue his service as the Deputy Supervisor of Elections for the fourth largest county, Hillsborough County, in Florida.   During this time, Dan was instrumental in the modernization of the voting system from punch cards to DRE and the establishment of policies and procedures for Early Voting, then a new concept. While in the military Dan served in key assignments, culminating his career with US Central Command in Tampa, Fl., where he served as a principal advisor to the Commander in Chief, Central Command. His commands include the 1st Armored Division Artillery; Deputy Commander for Civil Affairs, Task Force Falcon (Kosovo); 1st Battalion, 78th Field Artillery and 9th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery.

Following his county government work, Dan provided systems modernization support to a number of companies in the energy field.  Dan’s work in energy security has been featured in Thomas Friedman's 2008 book Hot, Flat and Crowded and Amanda Little's Power Trip as well as the documentary Carbon Nation.  He is the principal author of the DOD Energy Blog and the Commanding View Blog.   He has recently returned to elections modernization to provided strategic management services in interacting with government agencies at all levels. 

Dan is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, as well as a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Planning from the US Naval War College.  He is the Vice President for Strategic Planning and Government Operations for SOE Software, a Scytl Company. 

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