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Vermont’s Voter Portal

If there is one constant in election administration, it’s change. Election officials are constantly innovating to meet the evolving needs of voters. Voter portals, “one-stop self-service” sites, enable voter access
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Voting Abroad: Lessons and Takeaways from Italy 2022

The Overseas Voting Initiative (OVI) traveled to Italy in December 2022 to gain a better understanding of the challenges that Americans living overseas face when voting from abroad. The first
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Sandboxes and “Go Bags”: How New Jersey Election Officials Prepare for Crises

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Overseas Voting Initiative (OVI) 2019 report Examining the Sustainability of Balloting Solutions for Military and Overseas Voting, said “states are under increasing legislative pressure
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Featured Work

State Civic Education Toolkit

This Civic Education Toolkit is intended to help stakeholders from all three branches of government, as well as other members of the civic education community in their mission to improve state civic education. There are many unique strategies stakeholders can use to effectively engage students.

How COVID-19 Changed the Ballot Box

The enduring impact of pandemic-era polictics on elections.

Improving Ballot Processes for Overseas Citizens

As of late June 2020, the United States Postal Service (USPS) lists 103 international mail disruptions as a result of COVID-19 pandemic-related complications, with the number of disruptions and specific locations changing regularly.

The Team

Casandra Hockenberry

Project Manager
The Council of State Governments Center of Innovation
Casandra manages the Apprenticeship Data Alignment and Performance Technical Assistance Center, the Overseas Voting Initiative, and other research areas related to cybersecurity, data and privacy. As a part of her work at CSG, Casandra regularly convenes state policy makers to facilitate the exchange of innovative policies and practices. Her work focuses on improving the quality of data collection in the states to help states inform policy decisions.

Carl Sims

Deputy Program Director
The Council of State Governments Center of Innovation
Carl Sims is a Special Projects Manager at The Council of State Governments Center of Innovation. Carl oversees the work of the 2021-22 CSG Healthy States National Task Force, a multi-year project focused on the improvement of state fiscal, civic, economic and workforce and human health. Carl earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Kentucky Wesleyan College and his Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Kentucky’s Martin School.

Dexter Horne

Leadership Development Specialist
The Council of State Governments Center of Innovation
Dexter Horne is a Leadership Development Specialist at the Council of State Governments where he works to expand the personal, professional, and emotional skillsets of CSG members. In 2016, Dexter earned his bachelor’s degree in Politics from Centre College. He earned his MPA from the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration in the spring of 2018.

Dakota Thomas

Senior Research Analyst
The Council of State Governments Center of Innovation
Dr. Dakota Thomas is a Senior Research Analyst in the Center of Innovation at CSG. In this role, he provides data analysis and research support for state policymakers. He is currently helping lead CSG’s efforts to analyze federal funding for states and make this information understandable and actionable for members. Dakota also works closely with CSG partners to encourage the use of evidence in policymaking. Dakota earned his Ph.D. in Comparative Politics at the University of Kentucky in 2019.