David Levine is the senior elections integrity fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy at GMF, where he assesses vulnerabilities in electoral infrastructure, administration, and policies. David is also an advisory committee member for the Global Cyber Alliance's Cybersecurity Toolkit for Elections, an advisory council member for The Election Reformers Network, a member of the Election Verification Network, and a contributor to the Fulcrum. Previously, he worked as the Ada County, Idaho Elections Director, managing the administration of all federal, state, county, and local district elections.

David’s research interests and recent publications focus on election access, trust and security, and the nexus between external threats from malign actors and the challenges many democracies face in conducting free and fair elections. David’s work has been published and quoted in USA Today, New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, Bloomberg Technology, The Hill, Business Insider, MIT Technology Review, BBC, EU Observer, and others.

He received his JD from the Case Western School of Law, where he discovered his passion for election integrity. Since then, he has administered elections, worked with advocacy groups to improve the election process, and observed elections overseas in a number of countries for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Media Mentions

That has clearly been something that malign actors have capitalized on to try and diminish folks’ confidence in the election results.
Translated from English
When ERIC came to be over a decade ago, that was a culmination of efforts over several years. If it had been easy, it would have been quicker, and we would have come up with it sooner. So, saying you are going to turn something around in a year, I think, in a number of corners, will raise some eyebrows.
It risks making what is the exception the rule in some folks’ mind. It’s well established that drop boxes themselves are very safe and secure.
They want to take those mistakes and suggest without additional evidence that those mistakes are enough to justify overturning the results of an election. That’s a really dangerous place to be for a healthy democracy.
There are ways that states can intervene and help local election officials. Instead, we are seeing states that are enacting laws that could introduce new challenges to the conduct of U.S. elections.
The demands and expectations facing election officials have increased exponentially in recent years. Federal and state legislators have an opportunity right now to ensure that ongoing challenges — from cyber threats and disinformation to the pace at which we count ballots — don’t undermine elections in 2024 and beyond.
Election officials and their partners understand that the goal isn’t to create a perfect election system, but one that ensures that any attack on the election system doesn’t exceed the ability to detect and recover from it.
Some threats may not be homegrown, as foreign adversaries continue to try to influence U.S. elections, and polarization around election administration may make it harder for the U.S. to fight off such efforts.
Extremism fueled by anti-democratic figures and conspiracy theories is an acute threat.
When you give legitimacy to baseless accusations about the election process, there is a concern that more of that will occur.
Network availability isn’t generally a cause for concern or proof that machines are connected to the internet.
I’m relieved that my greatest fears haven’t come to pass thus far, but we can’t let our guard down until the midterms have concluded and the results are certified.
While I think yesterday’s election was smoothly conducted, nobody should assume that those forces, including the former U.S. president, seeking to subvert elections are going away.
As a former election official, I can tell you that when you have new workers and new election officials, the number of mistakes goes up. How those folks respond once those mistakes are made, and how others portray those mistakes and respond to them — voters, media and others — will go a long way toward ensuring a smooth midterm election.
This is a concerted effort by a significant portion of the American electorate, albeit a minority, to undermine American elections and American democracy more broadly.
What happened in Colorado demonstrates that those who believe elections are illegitimate are willing to go to almost any means to prove it.
Whenever you bring on a lot of temporary workers in the run-up to an election cycle, by the very nature you increase the possibility of that insider threat.
In the current hyperpolarized atmosphere, modems in voting machines are now not only a potential target for cyberattacks, but, perhaps more importantly, information operations seeking to cast doubt on the legitimacy of U.S. elections.
Poll workers are the backbone of American democracy. They played a critical role in the success of the 2020 election. They, frankly, continue to play success in 2022.
The 'Big Lie' has been a sort of like a virus that has spread throughout nearly every part of American society, including right into the poll worker ranks. But I do think it's important to note that instances of rogue poll workers are few. They're isolated and, you know, when they've occurred, they've been identified and addressed.
There have been times when election officials had to take on wearing a cybersecurity hat, they had to wear the public health hat, they’ve had to wear the election law hat. In each of those instances, they had to acquire a certain amount of knowledge.
What you’ve seen is a robust, comprehensive effort by purveyors of election myths and disinformation to try and sabotage future U.S. elections. And one of the latest ways that these folks are trying to do this sort of thing is to infiltrate and manipulate the election process by getting to poll workers, who are frankly the backbone of U.S. democracy.
We have this hyper polarized environment where people are going to take mistakes, [and others] will try to use them to say the whole election is illegitimate.
2000 Mules failed spectacularly in its efforts to present demonstrable evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Experts in geo-tracking data analysis say GPS data from apps on cellphones aren’t even precise enough to place cellphone users at a drop box, let alone show the commission of a crime at one.
We need to make sure that we are putting people in these positions who put free and fair elections above partisan interest.
The process is unfolding as it should. This is how you methodically count ballots in accordance with the state laws that Maryland has. I would encourage people to be patient.
What we have seen time and again is that those who support the ‘Big Lie’ find conduits to groups of people who they think can help perpetuate this conspiracy theory and erode confidence in elections and potentially cast doubt on them going forward.
The tentacles of the Big Lie have spread. There’s already plenty of uncertainty and doubt about mail voting in Pennsylvania. And what these counties are doing is very likely going to create more momentum behind that.
What’s going on in Otero County certainly should be considered as part of a broader effort to uproot nonexisting fraud, and that poses a real, present and ongoing risk to free, fair, safe and secure elections.
In the midst of ongoing efforts to baselessly question the legitimacy of the state’s electoral system, Georgia’s high early voting turnout was a strong indicator of voters’ confidence in the security and integrity of their state’s elections.