Welcome to our first newsletter.
We’re excited to have you onboard and look forward to inviting you inside our world and work. Here, we will catch you up on company news, trends, and threats to the world’s best idea: democracy.
A word from our founder
Recent months have reminded us of how valuable a well-established democracy is, as it is both a civilized arena for electing, along with dismissing, those in power and a fence against violations of the rule of law. We are also reminded that democracy is fragile, and we must never take it for granted. As the famous Danish democratic theorist Hal Koch explained it, “Democracy is not a victory that has been won. It is a constant battle.”
For way too long, threats to democracy and human rights have been ignored, paving the way for authoritarian tendencies and regimes to threaten emerging democracies as well as well-established ones. This has rendered democracy quite vulnerable. As a result, many established democracies now suffer from alarming declines in participation coupled with backsliding. If we are to uphold democracy as the answer to the many global challenges we are facing, we must reverse this trend by finding new democratic formats that are in sync with the way we live our lives. This is not an easy task, but certainly a necessary one if we are to maintain a free and open society.
Democracy is “all inclusive” and, consequently, we are all a part of the solution. Our main contribution at Assembly Voting is to ensure that all eligible voters enjoy equal ballot access regardless of their physical locations, disabilities, or other obstacles. Building secure, accessible, and end-to-end verifiable election technology to ensure unambiguous trust in democratic processes and results is a crucial part of the needed transformation.
With this newsletter we hope to inform, inspire, and spearhead real, positive changes in democratic practices around the world. Thanks for your interest and enjoy .
Click below to read about our thoughts on how to reverse the democratic backslide.
What are we covering?
What we've been up to
Networking during the Democracy Festival on the island of bornholm
In June, we sent a team to the small town of Allinge on the island of Bornholm, which hosts the People’s Meeting or ‘Folkemødet’ – a huge celebration of Danish democracy – every year. With more than 2,000 political events held by 650 organizations, we used the Democracy Festival to meet and engage in dialogue with citizens, parliamentarians, NGOs, business representatives, and grassroots organizations.
During the festival, our representatives wore t-shirts with the statement: “Ask me! How we are making it possible for Americans to vote from their phone,” referencing our role in building a mobile voting solution for public elections in the U.S. This was an effective conversation starter which sparked curiosity while leading to valuable new contacts.
A shout-out to the Alliance of Democracies
In June, we took part in the Copenhagen Democracy Summit, organized by the non-profit Alliances of Democracies, which is dedicated to promoting democracy around the world. Being part of this event was extremely rewarding and the overall theme was all about how we can unite for democracy and push back against the authoritarian tide that is currently sweeping the planet.
During the conference, we heard from an impressive line-up of speakers including political, business, and media leaders, together with democracy activists and advocates, who provided fresh ideas on how to stem the authoritarian advance and help democracy regain its footing. The relationship between technology and democracy, including how we can use the former to strengthen the latter, was also on the agenda, just as it has been in our company for the past 20 years, and we were happy to contribute.
On the road to meet key partners in the U.S.
In mid-2021, we were chosen by the non-profit Tusk Philanthropies to develop a mobile voting solution for public elections in the United States. Named ‘Mobile Voting Project,’ this initiative is all about increasing voter participation by making it easier and more convenient to vote. This summer we have moved the project into its final development stage.
As such, we decided to send a team to the U.S. in July to meet our American partners and perform tests of balloting, user experience, and accessibility. The trip first brought us to New York, where we met our key partner OSET, and then Chicago, where we met with Tusk while subsequently visiting the Danish Trade Council.
Our next stop was Omaha, Nebraska, where we joined a convention organized by the American Council of the Blind, followed by a similar convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, held by the National Federation of the Blind. During both events, we ran tests allowing several visually impaired people use our solution to vote while checking to see if their vote was counted and recorded as intended.
Observing users interacting with our technology and receiving direct feedback was extremely valuable in helping us enhance the usability and accessibility of our solutions.
Helping organizations navigate complex elections
Assembly Voting was the first provider of digital elections in Denmark, and, since our founding in 2001, we have performed more than 6000 elections for public institutions, private companies, professional associations and NGOs. Today, we have grown into a leading election tech provider not only in Denmark, but also Europe, the U.S., and around the world.
This year alone, for example, we have begun working with several prominent new customers, including the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), known for being a leader in election observation around the world. We have also conducted elections for AIIC, a Geneva-based international professional association of conference interpreters with over 3000 members across 100 countries, and the European Transport Workers’ Federation, another large membership-based professional association. Click below to have a look at some of our most recent customer case stories.
Featured blog post
Black Box Voting vs. End-to-End Verifiable Voting
All democratic elections are important, and, whether occurring in the public or the private sector, end-to-end verifiability is the only way to meet the fundamental requirements of such elections. Voting systems with end-to-end verifiability are currently changing the way the world thinks about electronic voting by allowing impartial observers to witness and verify that they are functioning properly throughout the entire voting process. While these systems still preserve the secrecy and anonymity of the ballots cast during an election, they also provide information as to how each vote is collected, recorded, and tabulated.
What's cooking in development?
1. U.S. public elections version of AVX
Our team is working hard to adapt our product AVX to support U.S. legislation and election administration procedures for public elections. This includes removing (or ‘air-gapping’) parts of the system and election process from unsecured networks, including affidavit support, improving ballot checking, and integrating the product into an open source app for the voters.
2. End-to-end verifiable version of Conference
In early Q4, our Conference product will be launched with the option to run in fully end-to-end verifiable mode, as in our product AVX. This will make Assembly Voting the first provider in the world to make end-to-end verifiable election software available for live elections and hybrid meetings, such as general meetings. A number of previously requested features will be added to this version of the product, including extended scheduled voting and visualization of non-anonymous voting as “raising of hands.”
3. New proxy voting module to launch
A growing number of our customers and partners have the need for proxy voting. A proxy voting module, able to be integrated with both Conference and AVX, is therefore being added to our portfolio.
New faces in Assembly Voting
Two new additions
Say hello to Mikael Matzen (left), our new Business Development Director, and Josh Ellington (right), who has joined us for three months to offer his knowledge of the U.S election market . We’re always on the lookout for new bright minds, so don’t hesitate to click the button below to check out our careers section if you would like to learn more about joining our team.
Three customer success interns
We have welcomed three talented customer success interns into the fold who will join us on a quest to qualify and conquer new markets for the next three months. We’re extremely excited to have them onboard.