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William & Mary hosts election law symposium
Symposium features war game simulating election security dispute

By Anna McMullen '18;
Rebecca Green and Amy McDowell, Election Law Program Co-Directors; and
Reiko Dogu, ELP Program Manager

On April 12, the William & Mary Election Law Program hosted a unique symposium aimed at expanding understanding of the role of courts in promoting election security. The symposium focused specifically on the critical infrastructure designation pursuant to the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2014.

Following opening remarks by Symposium student Co-Chairs Camden Kelliher ’21 and Alexis Dalton ’20, the event kicked off with a war game simulating an election security dispute in the fictional state of “Flichigan.” The law of Flichigan combined the Virginia election code with provisions from the Michigan state constitution as the basis for the exercise.

In the fictional scenario, Flichigan experienced a hack of its voter registration database in Flichigan’s most populous county, Bayne County. The hack occurred several weeks prior to Flichigan’s U.S. Senate primary elections in August 2018.

The hacker changed registration information of roughly one hundred Flichigan voters, resulting in mass confusion at Bayne County polling places on the day of the primary. Bayne County election officials worked to efficiently resolve the matter by issuing provisional ballots and engaging in an audit process following the primary to ensure an accurate count. The winning candidate won in a landslide. Read more…

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