Swing State Secretaries and the 2020 Elections

he Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation brought together a bipartisan group of secretaries from the key swing states of Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania to discuss the challenges they are facing, the pressures they are under, and what they are doing to make the November election work for the citizens of their states.

Panelists included:

Jocelyn Benson, Secretary of State, Michigan

Kathy Boockvar, Secretary of the Commonwealth, Pennsylvania

Frank LaRose, Secretary of State, Ohio

Miles Rapoport (Moderator), Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy, Ash Center

Jocelyn Benson, Secretary of State, Michigan

“The biggest challenge is the challenge of election interference — interference in a way that would seek to sow seeds of doubt among our electorate, among our voters about the integrity of the process, and as a way of undermining their faith that the results of the election will be an accurate reflection of the will of the people.”

Frank LaRose, Secretary of State, Ohio

“I want to mention this effort to ensure that voters have accurate information. It is unfortunate, but it is a reality that we live with — whether it’s coming from foreign adversaries or coming from our own domestic American politicians. There’s a lot of misinformation swirling around.”

Kathy Boockvar, Secretary of the Commonwealth, Pennsylvania

“Disinformation, misinformation is the single most, biggest challenge we’re facing across the commonwealth and across the country. It’s something that secretaries of state and election officials have had to deal with for a long time. It’s just that the 24/7 news cycle, social media, and just how easy it is to retweet, repost, has really worsened that.”

Watch the full event recording

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Harvard Ash Center

Research center and think tank at Harvard Kennedy School. Here to talk about democracy, government innovation, and Asia public policy.