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Have an Idea to Boost Election Security? Practice Your Pitch for Sacramento Event

Cybersecurity is the emphasis of a May 23 event in Sacramento that will be like "Shark Tank" for technology: Innovators will present a cybersecurity election solution to a panel of judges, who will then choose three finalists.

If you work in IT and have an idea for how to improve election security, it’s not too soon to start your homework for the CapitolSec 2020 Conference on May 23 in Sacramento. A panel of judges is waiting to vet your ideas.

“We have some of the brightest minds, greatest security talents in this region,” said conference organizer Carmen Marsh, CEO of Roseville-based Inteligenca Consulting. “We are also based in the capital of America’s largest state, which faces security challenges like few other states do. We need to lead a security movement. This is a first step.”

A panel of judges will consider proposal papers from participants. The judges will look for outstanding works in several areas, including:

  • Best new software solution  
  • Best software solution to enhance the existing electoral system 
  • Overall best idea for the most improved and secure election system (can be software or process, or both)
Those chosen to present at the four-hour event may do a product demonstration, a software demo or something more interactive. The judges will then decide which three products best fit the criteria.

Cybersecurity has been one of the hottest IT topics in recent years, with special attention being paid to election security. The California Secretary of State's Office has a Web page devoted to the topic, and the state Little Hoover Commission, a good-government watchdog, addressed the topic last month in an open letter to the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

"Everybody talks about cybersecurity, but nothing seems to get done," said Marsh. "We want to stop talking and do something." 

The judges include:

  • Louis Stewart, chief innovation officer for the city of Sacramento
  • Wendy Curl, vice president of the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the Information Security Systems Association 
  • Malcolm Harkins, chief of Security and Trust for Cylance
  • Mari Heiser, distinguished engineer and CTO/NA Cloud for IBM Security
  • Michael Reese, chief information security officer for DSA Technologies
  • Matthew Rosenquist, cybersecurity strategist for Intel and one of Linkedin’s Top 10 Tech Voices 2018
The CapitolSec 2020 Conference will begin at 5 p.m. May 23 at McClellan Business Park, 3140 Peacekeeper Way, Suite 101, Sacramento. Guests may register at 5 p.m. Pitches start at 6 p.m., and the event runs until 9 p.m., followed by an after-party. 

CapitolSec organizers are accepting submissions for papers through the May 20 deadline. Submission fees start at $150 until April 15. A detailed list of deadlines and fee changes can be found at the CapitolSec 2020 website.