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HAI Issue Briefs

In this issue brief series, HAI associate director Rob Reich and HAI fellow Marietje Schaake examine how technology will impact public debate, affect the electoral process, and may even determine the election outcome. 


Election 2020: Technology’s Role in Administering Democratic Elections
The 2020 Election in the United States will take place on November 3 in the midst of a global pandemic, economic downturn, social unrest, political polarization, and a sudden shift in the balance of power in the U.S Supreme Court. On top of these issues, the technological layer impacting the public debate, as well as the electoral process itself, may well determine the election outcome.



Election 2020: Social Media and Political Polarization
The emergence of a digital sphere where public debate takes place raises profound questions about the connection between online information and polarization, echo chambers, and filter bubbles. Does the information ecosystem created by social media companies support the conditions necessary for a healthy democracy? Is it different from other media? These are particularly urgent questions as the United States approaches a contentious 2020 election during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Technology and the 2020 Election

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Rob Reich

Associate Director of HAI, Professor of Political Science, Faculty Director of the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, and the Marc and Laura Andreesen Faculty Co-Director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society

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Marietje Schaake

HAI International Policy Fellow; International Policy Director, Cyber Policy Center, Stanford University