Fmr. Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar discusses elections security with new business venture: Athena Strategies

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Athena Strategies President Kathy Boockvar recently sat down with Marquis Lupton of WITF The Spark to discuss election security and efforts needed to fortify our election processes and strengthen democracy ahead of the 2024 election. The conversation covered a broad range of topics including Boockvar’s experiences in Pennsylvania’s elections, and the need to address the rise of disinformation and threats against election officials.

Boockvar and Lupton discussed at length these issues, AI’s impacts, and the national security threat of disinformation. “In 2020 we really started to see disinformation change,” said Boockvar. “Historically, when we first started seeing mis and disinformation, it was usually coming from our foreign adversaries…. And in 2020 it shifted to a nearer frontier… domestic sources of disinformation.” Boockvar explained that these acts by domestic actors “frankly feed the needs of our foreign adversaries. Every time somebody from our country is spreading disinformation about elections or anything else, it’s like handing a gift to our foreign adversaries because they thrive on our… vulnerability. So we should be thinking about this as a national security issue – it is.”

Boockvar also talked about the need to increase the dissemination of easy to understand, accurate information about how elections work in this country. “Elections were designed with complexity – there are layers and layers of security and integrity at every step of the election,” Boockvar said. “They were designed to be complex because the complexity makes it secure, but the complexity also makes it harder to explain.” She continued that this is one of the priorities Athena Strategies is working on with partners– “how do we both give people the words that they not only understand, but then they can be ambassadors in their own community and talk to others.”

Listen to the full episode here.