Eric Cohen’s career path is far from traditional. Over his twenty five plus year career he has worked as a marketer for Fortune 500 companies, managed talent, and consulted startups, intellectual properties and ad agencies. In 2007 he started and ran a childhood obesity non-profit called n’Play which partnered with the USDA-FNS on the Healthier Schools Challenge, which was part of Let’s Move. Currently he oversees anti-counterfeiting for brands on the Amazon platform with Macarta, an Amazon marketing outsourcing consultancy company. His ability to see a problem from a macro view and put together a coalition of stakeholders to address and solve them has been a consistent theme throughout his career.
The concept for Voting Rights is Civil Rights came about after realizing the unspoken element of voter suppression is how many votes from minorities, specifically African Americans, are rejected or not counted despite being cast. His goal is to be a part of helping move the United States closer to the vison of true equality that the 1965 Voting Rights Act was meant to enact.
Bennie Smith is a software developer who works in analytics and innovation.
Smith has developed expansive business and technical skills throughout his career. In government as a liaison between elected officials and IT, Smith was a software developer maintaining City of Memphis applications for divisions including the Traffic Violations Bureau, Memphis Police and Internal Affairs.
In the private sector, he developed applications for lender auditing at First Tennessee, production metrics at International Paper, revenue management at Hilton Worldwide, and later holding multiple positions at Thomas & Betts/ABB
At ABB, he developed applications to transform 100M+ records into reporting data models, calculate sales, budgets, allocate $2B+ in sales targets though its organization to the agents, distribute $180M+ in agent commission payments, and an automated process to control $20M+ in excess or obsolete inventory. Using Lean/Six Sigma, he worked on cost saving to identify $1M+ in freight reductions and $60M+ in net price variance opportunities.
Smith operates Smartsoft, providing analytics, training, process automation, personal and corporate finance consulting, campaign strategy and demographic analysis for individuals, small and large businesses, and political campaigns. He is known locally for predicting voter turnout with his proprietary forecasting application and he has advised candidates in nearly every elected office in Shelby County.
Smith is an advocate for election transparency, serves on the Technical Advisory Team for SMART Elections. He is most known nationally for his proof of concept and research series examining election system vulnerabilities. It was covered by Bloomberg in its Cyber Security Segment and he was profiled in a cover story by Bloomberg Businessweek. Smith’s research is credited for uncovering an extraordinarily high-risk tampering mechanism and provides a new method for analyzing questionable election results. It is the foundation for the Ballot Image Project and has been presented to election officials, elected officials and at security panels around the country.
Ion V. Sancho served 28 years as the Supervisor of Elections for Leon County Florida. Recognized for his expertise in voter education and voting technologies, he’s testified before both chambers of Congress, and before other federal and state panels. An innovator, in 1994 Supervisor Sancho introduced early voting to Florida in 1994, as well as pioneering the first integrated windows voter registration database in Florida. Mr. Sancho was appointed the technical advisor to the 2000 Florida recount by the Florida Supreme Court.
Conducting independent tests in 2005 he uncovered a major security flaw in the Diebold Accu-vote 2000 voting machine, (captured in the 2007 Emmy nominated documentary “Hacking Democracy”) leading to its decertification in several states. The Election Center awarded the Freedom Award to his office in 2008 for creating an intelligent bar code tracking system for vote by mail ballots. Retiring in 2016, Mr. Sancho is in the HBO 2020 documentary on voting machine security “Killchain: The Cyber War on American Elections. He serves on the Board for the non-partisan Electronic Verification Network.
Jan BenDor is a founding member of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Michigan Election Reform Alliance.org, which advocates for voter protection, election verification, and comprehensive election security. A state-accredited elections administrator and election worker trainer, with lengthy experience as a deputy township Clerk, she volunteers as the Michigan Election Reform Alliance Statewide Coordinator. MERA co-led the successful 2018 effort to stop gerrymandering in Michigan, passing a state constitutional amendment to establish an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. Jan joined the Board of Directors of the National Election Defense Coalition in 2014. NEDC is working in Washington to enact bi-partisan legislation that would end all use of paperless voting machines, mandate manual risk limiting audits, and put teeth into enforcement of federal laws against voter purging and suppression.
Karen McKim is coordinator of Wisconsin Election Integrity, a nonpartisan volunteer group formed in 2012. She manages that group’s blog and website, WisconsinElectionIntegrity.org; has led several citizens audits of election results; and investigated several electronic miscounts in that state. She has a Masters degree in Public Administration from the UW-Madison, and worked for 30 years as a management auditor for the State of Wisconsin.
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