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Digital Disinformation and the Threat to Democracy: Information Integrity in the 2020 Elections

Hosted by Chair Ellen L. Weintraub

Co-sponsored by Chair Weintraub, PEN America, and the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center

Federal Election Commission, 1050 First St. NE, 12th Floor, Washington, DC 20463

September 17, 2019 | 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

The symposium will discuss policy approaches and tools for addressing such issues as how to minimize disruptions by foreign influence operations in the 2020 campaign. Disinformation was one of the means by which foreign adversaries sought to interfere in America's elections in 2016. Millions of dollars were spent on this clandestine effort. According to warnings from the intelligence community, DHS, and DOJ, these and other methods will likely be deployed against the United States again in 2020. This threat implicates the Federal Election Campaign Act’s foreign national political-spending ban and the Federal Election Commission's important disclosure mission, and impacts the health of America's democracy.


Public session:

Doors open | 8:00 a.m.

Coffee and registration | 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Introduction: Framing the challenge | 9:00 - 9:15 a.m.

Keynote: Senator Mark Warner of Virginia | 9:15 - 9:45 a.m.

Session 1 | 9:45 - 11:00 a.m.

Understanding the Global Challenge: How Disinformation & New Technologies Affect the Ways People Think, and What We Are Learning from the Global Experience

Session 2 | 11 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Facing the Challenge in the U.S.: Solutions in the Fight to Save the 2020 Elections

Closing and next steps | 12:45 - 1:00 pm

Live stream

Logistical information


Seating in the FEC hearing room will be limited. Members of the public wishing to attend the symposium are encouraged to arrive early. The building will be open to visitors beginning at 8:00 a.m.

Security procedures

All visitors to FEC must check in with the FEC security officer, located in the building lobby, and present a valid government-issued photo ID (e.g., driver’s license or passport). FEC staff will be available in the lobby to answer questions and help escort visitors to the 9th floor for security screening.

All visitors will be required to walk through a metal detector and their belongings will be screened through an X-ray machine. To expedite the screening process, visitors are encouraged to limit the number of items they bring to the building. Please be prepared to remove any metal objects (e.g., belts, watches, etc.) before your security screening. Once security screening is complete, visitors will be escorted to the FEC Hearing Room, which is located on the 12th floor.

Please note that if you exit the building at any time during the day, including over the lunch break, you will be required to go through the security screening process again. (Please note there are no food or beverage vendors within the building; however, there are a number of restaurants and food trucks within a short walk of the building.)


Attendees are encouraged to RSVP to Stephen Fee or Michele Riggio by September 13, 2019.

Contact the commissioner's office|@EllenLWeintraub on Twitter