Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security

The Blue Ribbon Commission on Pennsylvania’s Election Security

About The Blue Ribbon Commission on Pennsylvania’s Election Security

The Blue Ribbon Commission on Pennsylvania’s Election Security is an independent, non-partisan commission studying Pennsylvania’s election cybersecurity. As a battleground state, and one with outdated election infrastructure, systems, and technologies, Pennsylvania is a prime target for hackers wishing to disrupt the US electoral process.

The Commission will produce a final report in 2019, which will provide practical recommendations to state and local Pennsylvania officials with respect to better securing the state’s elections.

Primary areas of focus will include efforts needed to address vulnerabilities in the: (1) cybersecurity of voter registration, rolls, and databases; (2) cybersecurity of voting machines, tabulation, and storage; and (3) resilience and recovery of Pennsylvania’s electoral system following a potential breach.

We are grateful for the generous support of The Heinz Endowments and the Charles H. Spang Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation and for collaboration between Pitt Cyber, Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute CERT Division, and Verified Voting.




David Hickton – Founding Director, Pitt Cyber, University of Pittsburgh and former US Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania
Paul McNulty – President, Grove City College and former US Deputy Attorney General and former US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Commission Members

Jim Brown – Former Chief of Staff to US Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr; former Chief of Staff to Pennsylvania Governor Robert P. Casey
Esther L. Bush – President and CEO, Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh
Mary Ellen Callahan – Former Chief Privacy Officer, US Department of Homeland Security
Susan Carty – President, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania
Nelson A. Diaz – Retired judge, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
Jane Earll – Attorney; former Pennsylvania State Senator
Douglas E. Hill – Executive Director, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania
Mark A. Holman – Partner, Ridge Policy Group; former Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security; former Chief of Staff to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge
Ken Lawrence – Vice Chair, Montgomery County Board of Commissioners
Mark A. Nordenberg – Chair of the Institute of Politics, University of Pittsburgh; Chancellor Emeritus of the University; Distinguished Service Professor of Law
Grant Oliphant – President, The Heinz Endowments
Peri Jude Radecic – CEO, Disability Rights Pennsylvania
Pedro A. Ramos – President and CEO, The Philadelphia Foundation
James C. Roddey – Former Chief Executive, Allegheny County
Marian K. Schneider – President, Verified Voting; former Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary of State for Elections and Administration
Bobbie Stempfley – Director, CERT Division, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
David Thornburgh – President and CEO, Committee of Seventy
Sharon Werner – Former Chief of Staff to US Attorneys General Eric H. Holder, Jr. and Loretta E. Lynch
Dennis Yablonsky – Former CEO, Allegheny Conference on Community Development; former Pennsylvania Secretary of Community and Economic Development

Senior Advisors

Charlie Dent – Former US Congressman, 15th District of Pennsylvania
Paul H. O’Neill – 72nd Secretary of the US Treasury
Dick Thornburgh – Former Governor, Pennsylvania; former Attorney General of the United States; former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

*Affiliations are provided for identification purposes. Commissioners are serving in their personal capacities.

Staff to the Commission

Beth Schwanke - Executive Director, Pitt Cyber
Christopher Deluzio - Legal and Policy Scholar, Pitt Cyber


Public Comment

The Commission invited and encouraged public comments, which were carefully reviewed. The period for public comments is now closed. Thank you for your participation in this process.


Commission Documents


Selected Media Coverage